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The Heritage Lodge 

No. 730, A.F. & A.M., G.R.C. 

Instituted: Sept. 21, 1977 
Constituted: Sept., 23, 1978 


Vol. 8, 1984 - 85 

Worshipful Master: 

R.W.Bro. C. Edwin Drew 

Editor: R.W.Bro. Jacob (Jack) Pos 

10 Mayfield Avenue, 
Guelph, Ont., N1G 2L8 


This volume of our proceedings is the 
second under this format, and marks another 
year of growth for our Lodge. 

We have had the priviledge of receiv- 
ing contributions from some distinguished 
members of the Craft. In addition to our 
regular meetings in Cambridge we have held 
meetings in Niagara Falls and Kingston and 
held such special events as the McNab 
lecture in Hamilton and the Heritage 
Banquet in Toronto. 

The activities of the Lodge have been 
many and varied, and as we approach our 
tenth year, in 1987$ we are attempting to 
implement the aims and objectives as stated 
in our By-Laws; one of which is .."to 
publish the activities of the Lodge." We 
are indebted to our Editor, R.W.Bro. Jacob 
Pos, and the Editorial Board for their 
tireless efforts in this area. 

It is a pleasure as Worshipful Master 
to be invited to write this foreword to the 
198^ - 85 Proceedings, and I am grateful for 
the opportunity of sharing a thought with 

May we be granted the wisdom to 
appreciate our Masonic Heritage, 

May we be given the strength to preserve 
and protect this legacy, and 

May we be blessed with the beauty of 
character to encourage, by EXAMPLE, 
THOSE WHO WILL BE OUR successors. 

C. Edwin Drew, Wor. Master 

Worshipful Master 1984 - 



Initiated in Georgina Lodge No 

W. Master of Georgina Lodge No 

D.D.G.M. Toronto District 3, 

Ch. Member Friendship Lodge No. 729, 

Ch. Member The Heritage Lodge No. 730, 

H.R.A. University Chapter 241, 

First Princ. University Chapter 241, 

Toronto Lodge Of Perfection A.& A.S.R., 

Toronto Sovereign Chapter Rose Croix, 


Moore Sovereign Consistory, Hamilton, 

Barrie Sovereign Consistory, Barrie, 







This marks the second year for the new 
format of the Annual Lodge Proceedings. This 
volume is larger than normal because of two new 
projects which have been introduced this year; 
and also because of the larger type style which 
is being used for the first time in response to 
those who requested a larger print . 

The First Public Lecture was held on 
October 30, 1984, in the MacNab Street 
Presbyterian Church Hall, Hamilton, in 
cooperation with the Hamilton Masonic Past 
Masters' Association. Professor Dr. Robert L. 
Fraser spoke on "Sir Allan N. MacNab - The 
Making of the Peaceable Kingdom" . 

The First Annual Heritage Banquet was 
held on January 31, 1985, in the York Masonic 
Temple, Toronto. The guest speaker was 
R.W.Bro. H. Allan Leal, Officer of the Order of 
Canada who spoke on "James Kirkpatrick Kerr 
His Life and Times". 

Other Speakers contributing papers 
include V. W.Bro. Albert Foster Rodger, M.W.Bro. 
Nancekivell, W.Bro.H. Steward Greavette, W.Bro. 
Pearson, R.W.Bro. Donald Fleming and W.Bro. 

This year also saw the completion of the 
H.O.M.E. project. Final contributions 
amounted to $116,592.35. The pre-confederation 
second story lodge room has been completely 
restored and refurbished. It has a prominent 
location just inside the main entrance to Black 
Creek Pioneer Village, Toronto. We shall 
endeavour to publish a complete history of the 
restoration project in the next proceedings. 



One of the seven objectives of The 
Heritage Lodge reads: 

"To produce Lodge Proceedings, 
Research Papers and Historical 
Reviews; and to arrange special 
lectures and visual 
presentations" . 

As a member of the first Regularly 
Constituted Historical Lodge in Ontario, you 
have pledged support to these objectives when 
you affixed your signature to the Lodge By- 
Laws. Each of us should periodically review 
these fundamental objectives, "Lodge 
Proceedings, Vol.2, No. 2, October, 1978", to 
remind ourselves of those duties we have 
engaged ourselves to perform. Everyone may not 
always have the time, talent or desire to 
address all the objectives; but it is expected 
that each of us will apportion some effort to 
those objectives that lie within the compass of 
our attainments. 

There is a special need for masonic 
papers, the Lodge has commitments only up to 
March, 1986. This does not provide sufficient 
time for proper review and discussion. The 
schedule of papers should be prepared at least 
2 years, preferably 3 years, in advance. 
Therefore, more volunteers are needed to 
research and to prepare papers for submission 
at our Regular Meetings. 

For those who are interested but perhaps 
apprehensive about accepting this challenge, 
may we recommend R.W.Bro. Wallace McLeod ' s 
paper "Preparing A Paper for Presentation In 


The Heritage Lodge " Proceedings, Vol. 7, 1983- 
84. By exploring our Masonic Heritage you will 
not only reap personal satisfaction but you 
will be able to share your rewards with others 
through the pages of the Lodge Proceedings. 
Please give this appeal your most serious 
consideration and discuss your views and more 
especially your support and participation with 
the Chairman of the Lodge Committee on Masonic 
Information or the Editor. 

NOTE - The contributors to the Proceedings of 
the Lodge are alone responsible for the 
opinions expressed and also for the 
accuracy of the statements made 
therein. The opinions expressed by the 
contributors do not necessarily reflect 
the opinions, attitudes or policies of 
The Heritage Lodge No. 730, G.R.C. 



Forward i 

The Worshipful Master, R.W.Bro. C.E. Drew.. ii 

Editorial Comments ill 

Exploring Our Masonic Heritage iv 

Disclaimer v 

Table of Contents vi 

The Roman Catholic Church and Free Masonry; 

by V.W.Bro. A.F. Rodger 1 

Review of Paper: The Roman Catholic Church 

and Freemasonry; by M. W.Bro 

E.W.Nancekivell, 16 

Introduction of R.W.Bro. H. Allan Leal; by 

R.W.Bro. Wallace E. McLeod 21 

James Kirkpatrick Kerr: His Life and Times; 

by R.W.Bro. H. Allan Leal 24 

The History of Niagara District 'A', A.F.& 

A.M. , Grand Lodge of Canada; by W.Bro. 

H.S. Greavette 39 

The Kingston Masonic Temple; by 

W.Bro. Gordon Halloran 69 

Sir John Alexander Macdonald and Masonry; by 

W.Bro. Charles E. Pearson 74 

The Man - Sir John A. Macdonald; by 

R.W.Bro. Donald Fleming 90 

The Public Lecture No. 1 

Introdution and Brief History; by 

R.W.Bro. D.C. Bradley 99 

Introduction of Speaker; by 

R.W.Bro. W. Elgie 102 

The Making of the Peaceable Kingdom From 

Toryism to Conservatism - A New 

Perspective on Sir Allan Napier MacNab; 

by Professor Dr. Robert L. Fraser 104 

Thank the Speaker; R.W.Bro. D.C. Bradley 116 

Our Departed Brethren 118 

In Memoriam Our Departed Bret hern 119 

Lodge Officers and Committees 121 

Coming Events 123 

Immediate Past Master, R.W.Bro. D.C. Bradley 124 




V.W.Bro. Albert Foster Rodger 

In this jurisdiction we are so accustomed 
to having Protestant clergymen within our ranks 
that few of our members are aware of the fact 
that the Roman Catholic Church is not the only 
Christian church to prohibit its members from 
belonging to the Masonic Order, nor is it the 
only Christian church to question seriously the 
propriety of a Christian being a Freemason. 

Most of us , on the other hand , have been 
aware of the long standing antipathy of the 
Church of Rome to Freemasonry. Without knowing 
the history of that antipathy, it would be 
difficult, if not impossible, for any Mason to 
imagine what there is about Masonry to which 
the Catholic Church could take exception since 
there is nothing about our Order that could be 
construed as anti-Catholic. Many of us have no 
doubt assumed that the animosity of the Roman 
Catholic Church to Masonry was occasioned by 
the fact that the vast majority of our members 
in the English speaking countries of the world, 
at least, are Protestants. But, as you will 
see, this was never alleged to be one of the 
grounds for the opposition of Roman Catholicism 
to the Masonic Order. 

*Paper presented at a Regular Meeting of The 
Heritage Lodge held in the Preston-Hespeler 
Masonic Temple, Cambridge, Wednesday Evening, 

September 19,1984. 

The purpose of this paper is to examine 
the reasons which have been advanced by the 
Roman Catholic Church for its attitude towards 
Freemasonry and to compare those reasons with 
the concerns expressed by the other Christian 
Churches about our Fraternity. 

Although the Church of Rome had long been 
opposed to free associations of any kind, the 
first official attack on Freemasonry began in 
1738 with the Papal Bull issued by Pope Clement 
XII entitled "In Eminent!" . While there is 
some difference of opinion among Masonic 
scholars as to what the Pope meant when he 
referred to "other just and reasonable causes 
known to ourselves", there seems to be a 
consensus that the only charge made against the 
Craft was that it was a secret society "in 
which men of any whatsoever religion or sect, 
content with a certain affectation of natural 
virtue, are associated mutually in a close and 
exclusive bond in accordance with laws and 
statutes framed for themselves; and are bound 
as well by a stringent oath sworn upon the 
Sacred Volume, as by the imposition of heavy 
penalties to conceal under inviolable silence, 
what they secretly do in their meetings". 

This was followed by a second Papal Bull 
entitled "Providas" issued by Pope Benedict XIV 
in 1751 which only amounted to a reaffirmation 
of the first one. 

While these two Bulls were enforced with 
a heavy hand by the Inquisition in both Spain 
and Portual, they were largely ignored by 
Catholic Masons in the rest of Europe. 

In England where neither Grand Lodge nor 

any of the constitutent lodges under its 
jurisdiction had manifested any animosity 
whatever towards Roman Catholics, Masons were 
astounded by these attacks upon Freemasonry 
which appeared to them to have been unprovoked. 
This reaction was not surprising at a time when 
the Grand Lodge of England was being denounced 
in the press for admitting Roman Catholics. 
Instead of yielding to public pressure of that 
kind, Grand Lodge replied to its critics by 
appointing a Roman Catholic, one Thomas Duke of 
Norfolk, Grand Master in 1730. Some forty 
years later Lord Petre, another recognized 
leader of the Roman Catholic community in 
England became Grand Master and held that 
office for five years. 

It was not until the 19th century that 
the condemnation of Freemasonry was extended to 
include not only Freemasons but other kinds of 
free associations throughout the world. In 
1821 Pope Pius VII began the expansion by 
issuing a Papal Bull entitled "Ecclesiam" which 
enlarged the application of the two previous 
Bulls to the Italian Carbonari which he 
erroneously described as an 'offspring' of 

He was succeeded by Pope Leo XII who, in 
1825, issued a Papal Bull entitled "Quo 
graviora" in which Freemasonry was, for the 
first time, described as a 'sect' which in the 
official Roman Catholic usage of that word 
meant an ant i -Christian association and the 
condemnation was extended to include all other 
secret societies. 

The next attack of any significance came 
from Pope Pius IX who, over a period of some 32 
years, issued a series of Allocutions, Bulls, 
Encyclicals and Apostolic Letters in which he 

denounced any association of any kind that 
refused to allow itself to be controlled by the 
Church. These pronouncements had a much 
greater effect on Freemasonry than any of the 
earlier condemnations by reason of the fact 
that in 1870, the Vatican Council declared the 
Pope to be infallible in matters of faith. As 
a result, a large number of Catholic Masons 
demitted from their lodges. 

The most serious attack, however, was yet 
to come. In 1884 Pope Leo XIII issued 
Encyclicals entitled "Humanum Genus" in which 
he launched a wide ranging denunciation of the 
Fraternity. He charged Masonry with "the 
desire of overthrowing all the religions and 
social orders introduced by Christianity, and 
building a new one according to its taste, 
based on the foundation and laws of 
naturalism". H.L. Haywood, the well known 
Masonic writer in his book "Freemasonry and 
Roman Catholicism" explains that when Leo XIII 
"described Freemasonry as a 'naturalism' it was 
because he identified it with modern science in 
principle; and he attacked Masons and 
Freemasonry because he believed that in doing 
so he was attacking through them free science, 
free education, free thought, free speech, free 
assembly and free government". 

The series of Papal Bulls and Encyclicals 
to which I have referred were concisely summed 
up in 1917, when the discipline of the Roman 
Catholic Church was gathered together in the 
Code of Canon Law. Canon 2335 of that document 
read as follows: 

Those who join the Masonic 
sect or other associations 
of the same sort that plot 
against the Church or against. 

the legitimate civil powers, 
thereby incur excommunication 
simply reserved to the 
Apostolic See. M 

It was not until 1974 that Cardinal 
Seper, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for 
the Doctrine of Faith, after having consulted 
episcopal authorities throughout the world, 
sent a letter to all the Bishops which read in 
part as follows: 

" The Sacred Congregation 
for the Doctrine of the Faith., 
has ruled that Canon 2335 no 
longer bars a Catholic from 
membership of Masonic groups... 
and so a Cathlic who joins the 
Freemasons is excommunicated 
only if the policy and actions 
of Freemasons in his area are 
known to be hostile to the 

Upon receipt of that letter, the Roman 
Catholic Episcopal Conference of England and 
Males issued a statement interpreting the 
ruling and pointing out that priests are still 
forbidden by the universal law of the Church to 
accept membership in the Masonic Order. 

In October, 1981 I was informed by the 
Rev. Alan R, McCormack, Vice-Chancellor of the 
Archdiocese of Toronto that on the 17th day of 
February, 1981, the Sacred Congregation for the 
Doctrine of the Faith issued a declaration 
concerning the membership of Catholics in 
Masonic Associations; that it was the intention 
of the Holy See to reaffirm its position that 
there has been no blanket approval of Masonic 

Associations throughout the world or at the 
national levels by the Catholic Church; but 
that, at the same time it left intact the 
provision for individual ordinaries to permit 
their faithful to join the Masons if local 
conditions were judged to be satisfactory. 

At that time, I was also informed by 
Father McCormack that Catholics are allowed to 
join Masonic Lodges in the Archdiocese of 
Toronto without incurring any penalty, inasmuch 
as these Toronto Associations do not appear to 
be hostile to the Catholic Church or to present 
a threat to the faith of Catholic members. 

What is the current position of the Roman 
Catholic Church concerning the Masonic Order? 
According to an article in The Catholic 
Register published in Toronto on December 10, 
1983, entitled "Vatican says Catholics still 
cannot be Masons" we appear to be back to 
square one. That article reads as follows: 

" Catholics who join the 
Masons commit "serious sin" and 
may not receive the Eucharist , 
the Vatican announced Nov. 26. 

The announcement came on the 
eve of the promulgation of the 
new Code of Cannon Law which 
does not include joining the 
Masons as grounds for automatic 
excommunication, as did the 
previous code . 

"The negative judgement of the 
Church remains unchanged in 
regard to Masonic associations, 
because their principles have 
always been considered 

irreconcilable with the 
doctrine of the Church and 
because membership in them 
remains prohibited." said 
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger , 
prefect for the Vatican 
Congregation for the Doctrine 
of the Faith, which issued the 

Cardinal Ratzinger also said 
the announcement on the Masons 
had been approved by Pope John 
Paul II. Cardinal Ratzinger 
added that Local Church 
authorities do not have the 
right to pronounce judgements 
on the Masons in any way which 
implies the easing of the 
Church restriction. 

The Vatican announcement said 
that the restriction had been 
reiterated in a Feb. 17, 1981 
declaration of the doctrinal 

Sources at the doctrinal 
congregation told N C News 
Service that the congregation 
issued the Nov. 26 statement 
"to alert Catholics worldwide 
to the fact that some Masonic 
groups include anti-Catholic 
activity and that if they join 
the Masons they could get 
caught up in that activity." 

Masonic scholars seem to agree that the 
proximate cause of the Papal condemnation of 
Freemasonry of the 18th and 19th centuries 

seems to have been the fear of the Church that 
Masonic Lodges were being used to plot against 
both the Church and the State, and that the 
Church was fully justified in that fear as far 
as many of the Masonic Lodges in France, Italy, 
Spain and South America were concerned. Those 
same scholars also agree that most of the 
offending Lodges were irregular Masonic Lodges 
which had never been recognized, or from which 
recognition was withdrawn, by the grand Lodge 
of England and all other regular Grand Lodges. 
The most recent Vatican announcement indicates 
to me that the Roman Catholic Church is still 
unable or unwilling to draw any distinction 
between regular and irregular Masonic Lodges. 

Now, let us examine what has troubled 
other Christian Churches about Freemasonry. 
The principal objection to Masonry from 
Christian Churches other than the Church of 
Rome came originally from certain Protestant 
Churches in the United States. It was not 
until after the First World War that similar 
objections began to appear in England. While 
some of these Churches have contented 
themselves with quietly forbidding their 
members to belong to the Masonic Order, others 
launched an all out attack against Masonry. 

The most vehement assault has come from 
the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. In his 
book entitled "Freemasonry and the Churches" 
the Rev. Don C. Markham quotes the following 
statement from a publication of that Church. 

" If you have the Bible you 
will certainly know that the 
true God is Father, Son and 
Holy Ghost, and furthermore 
that the first Commandment 
forbids the worship of any 


other god. The Jews in your 
lodge deny Christ, and so have 
not the true God, and hence 
have no God, and yet you will 
with them offer up prayer to 
some god, not the true god, and 
hence you practise idolatory 
with them." 

Similar criticism of the Craft is to be 
found in a publication of the Orthodox 
Presbyterian Church from which Markham quotes 
the following statement. 

" In seeking to evaluate the 
religion of Masonry our 
standard must be Christianity, 
the one true religion. That 
Masonry cannot be simply non- 
Christian is self-evident. 
Neutrality with reference to 
Christianity is an obvious 
impossibility. Either Masonry 
as a religion is in agreement 
with Christianity, or it must 
be at odds with Christianity. 
Either it is Christian, or it 
must be ant i -Christian. " 

In his inaugral address published in 
Volume 95 of the Transactions of Quatuor 
Cor on at i Lodge, W.Bro. Rev. N. Barker Cryer 
quotes from what he describes as the first 
significant critique of the Craft as to 
Anglican Involvement entitled "Some Considered 
Reflections on Freemasonry" published in 1930 
by an anonymous author as follows: 

" The fact is that if 
Christians would concentrate on 
living wholly for Christ and 

his church, socially and 
spiritually, they could do 
everything that Freemasonry is 
doing for the good of mankind 
and far more. The work and 
even the merely social life of 
Church organization needs all 
the energy we have to give; and 
many of us are giving to 
Masonry service that is needed 
for Christ's real Temple." 

Brother Cryer also refers to the fact 
that after a commission of four bishops 
reported their findings to the Greek Bishops' 
Assembly in 1933, from which they concluded 
that Freemasonry was 'a mystery religion, quite 
different , separate and alien from the 
Christian faith', Archbishop Chrysostom of 
Athens declared that, as Freemasonry also 
allows Jews and Muslims to participate, 
Orthodox 'clergymen cannot be permitted to take 
part in this association. Any priest who did 
so was worthy of degradation and, moreover, all 
the faithful children of the Church should 
stand apart from it.' 'It is not lawful', he 
stressed, 'to belong at the same time to Christ 
and to search for redemption and moral 
perfection outside Him. ' 

In 1951 an Anglican clergyman by the name 
of Walton Hannah published an article entitled 
"should a Christian be a Freemason" from which 
article Brother Cryer quotes the concluding 

"Rome has spoken out loudly and 
clearly in condemnation of 
Freemasonry. As regards the 
English lodges she has perhaps 
overstated her case but she is 


more nearly surrounded by the 
subversive atheism of the 
continental Grand Orients. A 
Methodist Conference at 
Bradford in 1927 condemmed the 
Craft. Is the Church of 
England too mortally involved 
with this heresy to speak her 

The inaugural address of Brother Cryer 
contains many other quotations from the 
speeches and writings of other Anglicans. I 
only intend to refer to two of these, both of 
which are from the works of another Anglican 
priest by the name of Hubert S. Box. The first 
extract is from his book entitled "The Masonic 
Death and Resurrection Rite" in which he wrote 

"Freemasonry is to be regarded 
as a human groping after that 
very thing which God himself 
has established in his 
Christian Church. No doubt, 
there is a great deal that is 
of moral value in some of the 
pre-Christian beliefs which 
find expression in Masonic 
rites and ceremonies 
Nevertheless for a Christian to 
revert for spiritual life to 
these shadowy types and secret 
mysteries of bygone centuries 
when in Christ we have God's 
whole and final revelation of 
truth is to go behind Christ's 
back and to dishonour the 
Incarnation. " 

The second is an extract from a later book 


published in 1952 entitled "The Nature of 
Freemasonry" in which, after referring to the 
statement of Brother J.S.M. Ward that "Among 
the manifold blessings that Freemasonry has 
offered to mankind none is greater than that of 
taking the sting from death and robbing the 
grave of victory." Father Box replied "It is 
hardly necessary to point out that Christianity 
is accustomed to attributing those blessings to 
quite another source." 

The foregoing examples are, I believe, 
sufficient to illustrate the attitude towards 
Masonry of many Christian Churches which are 
not Roman Catholic as well as the critical 
position taken by some Anglican clergymen 
notwithstanding the fact that the Church of 
England itself has refrained from taking any 
stand on the matter. 

You will no doubt have observed that 
whereas the condemnation of the Craft by the 
Church of Rome appears to have been based to a 
large extent upon its hostility towards any 
association that it cannot control, the 
principal objection of the other Christian 
Churches seems to be based upon the assumption 
that Freemasonry is a religion. 

In September 1962 the Grand Lodge of 
England adopted the following statement on the 
relationship of Freemasonry to religion: 

"It cannot be too strongly 
asserted that Masonry is 
neither a religion nor a 
substitute for religion. 
Masonry seeks to inculcate in 
its members a standard of 
conduct and behaviour which it 
believes to be acceptable to 


all creeds, but studiously 
refrains from intervening in 
the field of dogma or theology. 
Masonry, therefore, is not a 
competitor of religion though 
in the sphere of human conduct 
it may be hoped that its 
teaching will be complementary 
to that of religion. On the 
other hand, the basic 
requirement that every member 
of the Order shall believe in a 
Supreme Being and the stress 
laid upon his duty towards Him 
should be sufficient evidence 
to all but the willfully 
prejudiced that Masonry is an 
upholder of religion since it 
both requires a man to have 
some form of religious belief 
before he can be admitted as a 
Mason, and expects him when 
admitted to go on practising 
his religion. " 

That statement was re-issued by the Grand Lodge 
of England as recently as November 1982. 

While we know that Masonry is not a 
religion, even some of our own members have 
from time to time mistakenly believed it to be 
so. It is hardly surprising then that some 
non-Masons have made the same mistake. The 
mere fact that our rituals and ceremonies do 
contain some religious components such as 
prayer and the use of an altar and the Holy 
Bible has been sufficient to convince many of 
our critics that Masonry is a religion. In the 
absence of any creed or theology, religious 
acts of this nature cannot, in my view, 
constitute a religion. 


If Masonry were a religion , there would 
be some foundation for the charge that Masonry 
is anti-Christian on two grounds: first, that 
there is no reference to Christ in the ritual 
of the three Craft degrees, and secondly, the 
fact that a man may become a Mason whether he 
be a Christian, a Jew, a Moslem or a Buddist. 
If, on the other hand, Masonry is merely a 
fraternity, the most that could be said is that 
Masonry is non-Christian. But even that charge 
would be wrong, since the name of Christ is 
used elsewhere in Masonry. 

What conclusion, if any, can or ought to 
be drawn by Freemasons from the criticism 
levelled against our Order by the Roman 
Catholic and other Christian Churches? It 
seems to me that it always has been and will 
continue to be the responsibility of each 
individual Mason to decide for himself 
according to his own conscience whether or not 
as a Christian, or as a member of any other 
faith, he can continue to be a Freemason, 
unless, of course, his particular Church has 
already decided that question for him. As to 
Freemasonry itself, I am convinced that every 
member of the Order ought to be constantly 
reminded of the role of Masonry in the world 
today. In my view, that role has never been 
more eloquently expressed than by the words of 
Brother Markham in the following two passages: 

"Neither functioning as a 
Church nor as a political 
group, Freemasonry has tried to 
maintain its integrity and 
meaning as a fraternal 
fellowship. Transcending the 
traditional barriers of 
sectarianism, politics, 


nationalism and race, it is a 
fraternity and does not pretend 
to be anything else." 


"offering a haven of brothehood 
in a frequently hostile world, 
the fraternity serves as a 
reminder to all that men are 
and must be brothers as 
children of a divine Creator . " 


V.W.Bro. Albert Foster Rodger was born in 

Admiral, Saskatchewan, October 19, 1917. He 

attended public schools in Saskatchewan and 

received his B.A. Degree in History and 

Political Economy from McHaster University in 

1940. He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law 

School, and called to the Bar of Ontario in 
1943. Albert Foster Rodger and Lorna Jean 

Arscott of London, Ontario were married in 

1949; they have two children, John 28 and 
Charles 23. 

Professionally, A.F. Rodger was engaged 
in general practice in Toronto until 1959. He 
was City Solicitor for the City of Hamilton 
from 1959 to 1965. Appointed Chairman of the 
Municipal Law Sub-Section for Ontario Branch of 
the Canadian Bar Association 1964-1965. He has 
lectured to the Bar Admission Course from 1965- 
1980, and to the Family Law Sub-Section of the 
Ontario Branch of the Canadian Bar Association 
and to the County and District Court Judges' 
Association on costs, and divorce jurisdiction. 
He was appointed, by the Attorney General for 


Ontario, as Vice Chairman of Civil Procedure 
Revision Committee in 1975. He was Honorary 
Vice-President of The Committee Lawyers Club of 
Toronto from 1979-1981. 

Mr. Rodger was an Elder of Olivet United 
Church, Hamilton, from 1960-1965 and of 
Eglington United Church since 1965. He was 
President of Boy Scouts of Canada for Greater 
Toronto Region, from 1973-1975 and Honorary 
Vice President since 1976. He served on the 
Executive Committee of Provincial Council for 
Ontario, Boy Scouts of Canada, and as a 
Provincial Representative on National Council, 
Boy Scouts of Canada from 1974-1975; and was 
awarded the Silver Acorn by the Governor 
General of Canada, in 1975, for "especially 
distinguished service to Scouting". 

Brother Rodger is a Past Master of Ionic 
Lodge No. 25, Past Grand Junior Deacon of the 
Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of 
Ontario and a member of the Grand Lodge 
Committee for Revision of the Constitution. 


LODGE 19 SEPT. 1984 


V.W.Bro. A. Foster Rodger on 
"The Roman Catholic Church and Fremasonry" 

as reviewed by 
M.W.Bro. Eric W. NanceKivell 

I should like first to say what a fine 
paper V.W.Bro. Foster Rodger has presented on a 
subject in which I have long been very 
interested — The Roman Catholic Church and 
Freemasonry — in which he added at the end 
something of the relationship of other 
religious denominations to Freemasonry. The 
paper was well-researched, in particular 
regarding the history of the relationship from 
the very beginning. 

Bro. Rodger explained the reason stated 
in Pope Clement Xll's papal bull in 1738 for 
the Roman Catholics' objections to Masonry in 
general terms. This might have been expanded 
to include four specific objections — as stated 

1. Masonry was a society composed of men of 
any religion or sect. 

2. The oath with its grievous penalties 
which bound them to inviolable secrecy 
and silence. 

3. Masonic meetings held in secret aroused 
suspicions of depravity and perversion. 

4. Charged that Freemasons did not hold 
themselves bound by either civil or 
canonical sanctions. 


Pope Benedict XIV s papal bull of 1751 , 
mentioned in the paper, called for automatic 
excommunication for a Roman Catholic to join 
the Craft — but it might be recorded that there 
was some justification for this, in that Masons 
in France, Italy and Latin America had been 
attackers of the Roman Catholic Church in 
years past. The three Anti-Masonic Encyclicals 
promulgated in 1884, 1894 and 1902 imbued a 
great many Roman Catholics with a wholly 
unfounded mistrust and even hatred of the 
order . 

In 1917, as outlined in the paper 
presented, the discipline of the Roman Catholic 
Church was stated in the Code of Canon Law (in 
Canon 2335 of that document) and it proclaimed 
that those who join the Masonic sect incur 
excommunication. It might be stated, however, 
that in July 1974 Cardinal Heenan, then head of 
the Roman Catholic Church in England, received 
a communication from the Holy See (which was 
promulgated in due course by the Roman Catholic 
Bishops of England and Males) stating, as is 
contained in Bro. Rodger's paper, that Canon 
2335 no longer automatically bars a Catholic 
from membership in Masonic groups but only if 
the policy and actions of the Freemasons in his 
area are known to be hostile to the Church. 

I was interested to learn that the Vice 
Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of 
Toronto informed our speaker that in February 
1981 the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine 
of the Faith issued a declaration which said in 
essence that although the Holy See reaffirmed 
its position that there has been no blanket 
approval of Masonic Associations, it left 
intact the possibility of local Bishops and 
Priests permitting a Roman Catholic member of 


their Church to join Masonry if conditions in 
that area were judged to be satisfactory. 

On December 10, 1983, according to Bro. 
Rodger's paper (and I believe this appeared in 
the Press, too) the Catholic Register published 
in Toronto, stated, "Vatican says Catholics 
still cannot be Masons'* and Cardinal Ratzinger 
(prefect for the Vatican Congregation for the 
Doctrine of the Faith) said that the 
pronouncement had been approved by Pope John 
Paul 11 because Masonic principles have always 
been considered irreconcilable with the 
doctrine of the Church. 

I believe with Bro. Rodger that this most 
recent Vatican announcement indicates that the 
Roman Catholic Church still draws no 
distinction between regular and irregular 
Masonic Lodges. I further believe that in the 
area of our Grand Jurisdiction at least, local 
Bishops and Priests will continue to permit 
their Roman Catholic Church members to join 

Little was said in the paper about the 
situation in Quebec where the problem is much 
more acute, simply because the preponderance of 
Quebecers are Roman Catholic. I seized the 
opportunity at our Grand Lodge Communication in 
July to speak to M.W.Bro. Urn. Carmichael, 
P.G.M. and now Gr. Sec. of the Grand Lodge of 
Quebec. He informed me that recently a lodge 
was formed in his Grand Jurisdiction which was 
essentially French, would perform the ritual in 
French, and the vast majority of its members 
are Roman Catholic. He also stated that 
another lodge of exactly the same nature is in 
the process of being formed. Bro. Carmichael 
reaffirmed Bro. Rodger's point that priests are 
not allowed to join Masonry. 


As far as the rest of V. W.Bro. Rodger 's 
paper is concerned, regarding the attitude of 
other religious denominations to Freemasonry v I 
agree that the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran 
Church is distinctly anti-Masonic and although 
I can produce no factual evidence, I understand 
that the Dutch Reformed Church has a similar 

Again, I would like to compliment 
V. W.Bro. Foster Roger on an excellent paper 
well researched, well composed and well 
presented on a subject that is of great 
interest and great concern to all of us. "The 
Roman Catholic Church and Freemasonry". 




R.H.Bro. Wallace E. McLeod 

On the ocasion of the First Annual Heritage 
Banquet held in the York Masonic Temple, 
Toronto, January 31, 1985 

Worshipful Master, members of the Heritage 
Lodge, and my Brethren: It is a privilege to 
bask in the glory reflected from our guest of 
honour, and I am grateful to the Master for 
inviting me to say a few words about my friend 
and brother. His life has been so rich and 
full that our whole evening could easily be 
devoted to rehearsing the details. But that 
is not why we are gathered together, and I must 
defer to the occasion. 

This man has had at least seven careers, 
and in all he has excelled. Look at him and 
you will recognize the athlete's physique. In 
his early days he played a mean game of hockey, 
and he attended McMaster University on an 
athletic scholarship provided by the Ontario 
Hockey Association. At university he won the 
Governor General's Medal, and on graduation he 
was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. During the 
Second World War he served in the Royal 
Canadian Artillery, and held His Majesty's 
Commission. When peace was restored he trained 
as a lawyer, and soon joined the teaching staff 
of Osgoode Hall Law School; he rose to become 
Dean, the senior administrator, responsible for 
the academic well-being of the School. In 
1966 the Province of Ontario plucked him out of 
the groves of academe and translated him to the 
public service, where he has filled several 


senior posts for which his legal background 
peculiarly qualified him: Chairman of the 
Ontario Law Reform Commission, and Deputy 
Attorney General of Ontario. 

He was initiated into Freemasonry in that 
nest of lawyers, Ionic, No. 25, in April 1952, 
and served as Master in 1966. He was appointed 
to the Board of General Purposes in 1970, and 
elected in 1972 and 1974. During five of those 
years he served as Chairman of the prestigious 
Committee on the Condition of Masonry, which 
reviews the reports submitted by the District 
Deputy Grand Masters. It was a cause for 
sorrow when the pressures of his daily 
avocation compelled him to curtail his Masonic 
activities, and he voluntarily retired from the 
Board in 1976. Since that date on occasion he 
has continued to make his presence felt; among 
other engagements, he spoke at Zetland's 
Canadian Night in 1979, and addressed the Grand 
Master's Banquet in 1980. 

Perhaps his most lasting contributions to 
Freemasonry have been in some way connected 
with the law. He belonged to, and for some 
time presided over, that hard-working Special 
Committee that revised our Book of 
Constitution. In our official history, Whence 
Come Me?, he wrote the biography of that other 
Masonic lawyer, our First Grand Master, William 
Mercer Wilson. Our guest's reports to Grand 
Lodge were a pleasure to hear, and remain a 
pleasure to read. He is a man who knows and 
loves the English language, and uses it well. 
He was born on the day which is sacred to the 
patron saint of actors, and so of course he 
knows how to please an audience. We are in for 
a treat this evening. 


This is a nan who wins recognition the 
way the rest of us deserve indifference; who 
accumulates honours the way most of us pile up 
debts: not just the meaningless Queen's 
Counsel; charter member of a Sports Hall of 
Fame in West Hamilton; Chancellor, that is, 
supreme ceremonial officer, of a major Canadian 
university; honorary doctorates from McMaster 
University, from York University, from 
Dalhousie University, and from the University 
of Western Ontario; and induction into the 
Canadian peerage, the Order of Canada. 

Superb athlete, prize -winning student, 
patriotic soldier, distinguished jurist and 
educator, academic administrator, devoted 
public servant, spell binding orator, revered 
and beloved Freemason — Bret hern, how do you 
acknowledge Right Worshipful Brother H. Allan 




R.W.Bro. H. Allan Leal, O.C. , O.C. , P.G.S.W. 

Brother Chairman, Brethern all: 

I would like to thank R.W.Bro. C. Edwin 
Drew, the Worshipful Master of Heritage Lodge, 
for the gracious invitation extended to me on 
your behalf to address you on this auspicious 
occasion. When he first approached me last 
spring he did specifically mention January, 
1985 and at the time that date seemed so remote 
that I fear I was too easily seduced. On one 
occasion I was counselled by my father, "If you 
think it is going to be a long winter, give 
someone your six month's note." The time has 
really gone quickly but I am pleased to be 
here. Your Worshipful Master has kept me 
meticulously informed of developments as they 
occurred, even of the fact that this is the 
first public execution that has taken place 
before the television cameras. 

I am also most grateful to R.W.Bro. Wallace 
McLoed for the generosity of his introduction. 
It would have been tribute enough to be 
accorded even the briefest of introductions by 
the Dean of Canadian Masonic historians, which 

"Paper presented at the First Annual Heritage 
Banquet of The Heritage Lodge, held in the York 
Masonic Temple, Toronto, January 31st, 1985. 


he clearly Is! My embarrassment is the greater 
that he should have been required to apply his 
great skills on such an unworthy subject. 

It is a gracious complement, as well, 
Worshipful Master, that you should have thought 
it proper to invite me to address the brethren 
of Heritage Lodge and their guests on this your 
First Annual Heritage Banquet. Canada is still 
a relatively young country but we do have 
traditions, rites, customs, worthy of 
preservation and enhancement. Heritage Lodge 
is devoted to those purposes in a Masonic 
context and so, this evening, we mark the 
beginning, perforcedly modest in the 
circumstances, of another custom or tradition 
and may it continue until time shall be no 
more! In this connection I am reminded of the 
beginnings of York University in Toronto 
shortly after World War II. It began its 
existence under the sheltering wing of the 
University of Toronto — and initially was housed 
in Falconer Hall just north of Flavelle House 
on the University of Toronto campus. In the 
final year there were more faculty members than 
students and at the end of term, just before 
Christmas, Murray Ross invited the staff and 
students into the President's office for a 
modest party. That evening the following 
exchange took place at the dinner table of one 
of the students who had attended the affair: 

Student: We had a bit of an event at the 

university today. I was invited to 
the President's office. 

Father: What have you been up to now? 

Student: Nothing serious. This was a 

Christmas Party for the whole 


Father: That was a nice gesture. Good party? 

Student: Yes, we mulled some wine. 

Father: Mulled wine, you say! Why did you mull 


Student: Oh, that's the tradition at York! 

This evening I have chosen to speak about 
James Kirkpatrick Kerr: His Life and Times. 
The choice was dictated on a number of grounds 
including among others that he served as Grand 
Master of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the 
Province of Ontario; that he was an outstanding 
member of the legal profession; that he was a 
member of Ionic Lodge No. 25 G.R.C. , my mother 
lodge; and finally that he was an early 
Canadian who served his country with great 
distinction. Indeed, in the Grand Master's 
Address of M.W.Bro. S.A. Luke, Grand Master in 
1917, following M.W. Bro.J.K. Kerr's death in 
the previous December, it was said: 

He was a man of dignified 
bearing that won recognition 
from every circle of society. 
Neither in nor out of the 
fraternity is it granted so 
many that they shall be leaders 
of the people in so many walks 
of life. The great majority 
must be content if they succeed 
in serving much smaller 
communities than a nation; 
content if they but develop 
such qualities of manhood as 
will enable them to assist 
their immediate circle of 
society, and that attainment is 


within the grasp of all. 

This was contemporary judgement of the man by 
his peers. I note that although that excellent 
historical work, "Whence Come We?" gives 
justifiable prominence to certain of 
illustrious former brethern in the form of the 
caption "Life and Importance of William Mercer 
Wilson"; "Life of Otto Klotz"; "Life of John 
Ross Robertson"; it does not do so with respect 
to James Kirkpatrick Kerr although considerable 
text throughout the book is devoted to his 
Masonic endeavours and accomplishments. I am 
not suggesting that it was wrong not to single 
him out for special treatment. That was a 
value judgement for others to make. I am 
saying, however, that the book said enough to 
kindle in me the desire to learn more about 
this man of my profession and my fraternity. 
This address is the result of what I have 
learned . 

He was born in Guelph, in the then 
Province of Canada, on August 1, 1841, the 
eldest son of Robert Warren Kerr and Jane 
Hamilton Kirkpatrick. He died at his home 
"Rathnelly", in Toronto, on December 4, 1916, 
aged 75 years. In his biographical sketches 
special mention is made of the fact that he was 
educated at the Gait Grammar School under a 
certain Dr. William Tassie. Being rather 
Intrigued by this specific reference to his 
educational mentor I pursued the point far 
enough to ascertain that Dr. Tassie was a 
Dublin born educationist who emigrated to 
Canada in 1634, received his first degree at 
University College, Toronto, his M.A. from 
there in 1658, and an LL.D. from Queen's 
University in 1871. Tassie became headmaster 
of the grammar school at Gait in 1853 and under 
him the school acquired a national reputation. 


He later became headmaster at the Collegiate 
Institute at Peterborough and died on December 
15, 1886. This country owes educators like Dr. 
Tassie a great debt of gratitude. 

Having been born in 1841, James K. 
Kerr's entry upon the scene coincided with the 
formation of the new Province of Canada, under 
the Act of Union, 1841. This was meant to 
implement the recommendations of the Durham 
Report of 1840, which in turn was commissioned 
in order to establish the causes of the 
rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada in 1837 
and to recommend remedial measures. Lord 
Durham, you will recall, was born John Lambton, 
was called "Radical Jack" and was one of the 
principal architects of the great Reform Bill 
of 1832 in Britain, by which the representative 
nature of our parliamentary institutions was 
transformed and democratized for all time. So, 
too, the Act of Union, 1841, marked the 
beginning of the end of colonial rule for our 
country and enabled us to take the first 
faltering steps towards the responsible self- 
government which we enjoy today. Strangely 
that process was not completed until we 
patrlated the Constitution in 1982. 

One can imagine that the young student ' s 
mind would have been made well aware of the 
developments and viscissitudes of our changing 
political and social structure and 
institutions. He would have followed 
historical developments like the American Civil 
War 1861-1865 with great interest and, because 
he was already a member of the Bar at the time 
of the Charlottetown Conference in 1864 and the 
Quebec Conference in 1866, he would have been 
caught up in the debates and developments in 
establishing our new country. He would have 
been a month shy of 26 years of age when Canada 


was established on July 1, 1867. From that 
date until his death in 1916 he had a full 
legal, political and fraternal life. His 
death, of course, occurred during the depths of 
despair in World Mar I with the blood and 
flower of our manhood sacrificed in the 
engulfing slime and mud of the Somme and 
associated disasters. I like to think that 
somehow he would have become aware of the 
eventual and redeeming result of that 
holocaust . 

But, if I may, I would like to enlarge a 
little on those three facets of his career — the 
legal, political and fraternal or Masonic. 

Our subject was admitted as a student -at - 
law in 1857 and graduated from the Osgoode Hall 
Law School and called to the Bar of Canada West 
(now Ontario) in 1862. Since the regulations 
of the Law Society have always prescribed that 
one must have reached his majority before call, 
this was the earliest he could have been called 
in any event. Do not be misled by the fact 
that his law course extended for five years. 
That was normal in those days since most 
students began their legal training as 
matriculants and not university graduates as 
they do today. Indeed, the matriculant class 
entry qualifications continued until 1952, 
although in recent times they were few in 
number. Many of our greatest lawyers and 
jurists sprang from the matriculant class, 
which has led some cynics to comment that we 
have mlssolved the whole business of legal 

James K. Kerr joined the firm of Blake, 
Kerr and Wells in 1862 and remained a partner 
in that firm until 1885. The members were 
Edward Blake, Hume Blake, J.K. Kerr and Rupert 


Wells. This represents the modest beginnings 
of one of our truly great Canadian legal 
institutions, the law firm known today as 
Blake, Cassels and Graydon located in 
Commercial Court West. It is one of the 
largest law firms in Canada with 150 lawyers, 
at last count, and down through the last 
century and a quarter has gained for itself an 
enviable international reputation for sound 
ethical practices and the delivery of 
imaginative and competent legal services to its 
clients and, thus indirectly, to Canada as a 
whole . 

It is interesting to note that in the 
Ontario Law List for 1866 the firm is stated to 
be located in the Masonic Hall. Perhaps some 
of you will know this from wider knowledge of 
the history of Masonic buildings in this area. 
The Masonic Hall was situated at 12 Toronto 
Street, on the west side of Toronto Street and 
on the south side of Adelaide Street. It was 
constructed in 1857 and was one of the first of 
Toronto's "tall" office buildings. For this 
reason it was the first to be equipped with a 
hydraulic passenger elevator. I suspect when 
the building was demolished they moved the 
elevator to the building at 888 Yonge Street. 
For many years the building was known as the 
head office of the Canada Permanent Mortgage 
Corporation which now occupies rather more 
impressive quarters at the corner of Adelaide 
and Bay. The Masonic Hall building was 
demolished in 1960 and the land on which it 
stood now accommodates the head office of the 
Excelsior Life Insurance Company. 

That he personally made a substantial 
contribution in the legal world cannot be 
doubted. In 1864 he married Anne Margaret, 
daughter of the Honourable William Hume Blake 


though the latter* s connection with the firm is 
uncertain. It would be good to think he was 
astute enough to marry the boss ' s daughter . He 
was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1674 and 
served as a Bencher of the Law Society of Upper 
Canada, the governing body of the legal 
profession from 1879 to 1896. Since this is an 
elective office subject to the votes of the 
general membership of the profession it attests 
to his popularity on the one hand, and on the 
other to his commitment to his own profession 
since the office, though often onerous, was 
then and remains today unpaid. 

Again referring to the memorial delivered 
by M.W.Bro. S. A. Luke in 1917 at the Grand 
Lodge Communication following M.W.Bro. Kerr's 
death, the deceased is stated to have been an 
acknowledged legal authority, having had many 
responsible positions in the commercial and 
political world, being a director of several 
important industrial companies, and was speaker 
of the Senate from January, 1909 to 1911. 

It is to his political career that we now 
turn. In the brief biographical sketches 
available he is referred to as a prominent 
Ontario Liberal. Be that as it may, he was 
appointed to the Senate, Parliament of Canada 
in 1903, and as already indicated he became 
Speaker of that body in January 1909 and 
retained the office until 1911 when the House 
of Commons was dissolved and the Sir Wilfred 
Laurier administration went to the people in a 
federal general election in which the issue of 
reciprocity with the United States was a major 
issue. The Laurier liberals lost that election 
ushering in the administration of Sir Robert 
Borden, under whose leadership we were destined 
to enter and wage World War I. At this time 
J.K. Kerr was 70 years old and although the 


official records reveal that he continued as 
the senior legal partner in the firm of Kerr, 
Davidson, Peterson and McFarland until his 
death, it is assumed he was not politically 
active after 1911. The legal firm continued 
under the above name until 1938. 

That a legal and political life as active 
as this should have left room for an equally 
active Masonic career is quite remarkable in 
itself. James Kirkpatrick Kerr, the barrister, 
was initiated into Ionic Lodge No. 25 6.R.C. on 
May 5, 1863, while still 21 years of age. He 
was passed to the second degree on June 2, 1863 
and raised to the degree of Master Mason on 
September 1, 1663. Bro. Kerr's registration 
number, allocated on initiation into Ionic 
Lodge, was 89. The latest registration number 
allocated by the lodge is 1233 from which the 
inference may be drawn that its numbers never 
have been large over the past one hundred and 
forty years. Each of us, I am sure, take 
justifiable pride in, and have great affection 
for, our mother lodge. I am eager to state 
that I am no exception to this. Ionic Lodge 
was constituted in 1847 and originally numbered 
18 on the register of the Ancient Grand Lodge 
of Canada. It was one of the 49 lodges of that 
Grand Lodge which participated in the union 
with the lodges of the Grand Lodge of Canada on 
July 14, 1858 to form the new Grand Lodge of 
Canada. Ionic was renumbered 25 G.R.C. and 
has lived in happy union and perfect harmony 
ever since. 

Bro. Kerr became the 13th Master of Ionic 
Lodge at age 24 in 1865 having served as Junior 
Warden the previous year but never as Senior 
Harden and having been a member for only two 
years. He was worshipful Master again in 1866, 
became a life member in 1874 and was voted into 


honorary membership on May 7, 1895. 

It is common knowledge I believe that 
until fairly recent times the membership of 
Ionic Lodge No. 25 was heavily larded with 
members from the legal and medical professions. 
Bro Kerr's own legal firm over the years 
contributed such stalwarts as Gordon Munnoch, 
Q.C. Bro. Kerr was the first of three Ionic 
brethern to have served as Grand Master of the 
Grand Lodge of Canada. Other lodges have a 
better record than that. The contribution of 
Ionic brethern, however, to the life of their 
country is not a matter for apology. Indeed, 
the names of a number of Ionic Brethern appear 
in chapter 18, "The Mason in the Community", of 
Whence Come We?; a record of which any and all 
lodges could be proud. 

In dealing with James Kirkpatrick Kerr as 
Grand Master I would like to dwell on four 
matters only: (i) his eventful and onerous year 
as Acting Grand Master; (ii) the suppression of 
the rebellion of 1876; (iii) the date of the 
Annual Meeting of Grand Lodge; and (iv) the 
rules respecting masonic trials. 

At the Annual Communication in 1874 
M.W.Bro. Urn. Mercer Wilson was elected Grand 
Master, R.W.Bro. J.K. Kerr was elected Deputy 
Grand Master and M.W.Bro Thomas Bird Harris was 
elected Grand Secretary. Bro. Harris had been 
active in the formation of Grand Lodge in 1855 
and had acted as Grand Secretary in each year 
until his death, with the exception of 1856, 
and in that year he was Grand Registrar. His 
death on August 18, 1874 cast a substantial 
burden on the Grand Master and his Deputy, 
R.W.Bro. Kerr. But this was only the beginning 
of calamities to come. On January 16, 1875 the 
Grand Master Wm. Mercer Wilson died and R. 


W.Bro. J.K. Kerr became Acting Grand Master at 
the tender age of 34 years. Obviously this 
would have been at the peak period of his legal 
practice. How he could have managed for that 
period without a Grand Secretary and without a 
Deputy Grand Master is hard to imagine and the 
stresses and strains are apparent in the Grand 
Master's Annual Address for 1875. At that 
Annual Communication he became Grand Master in 
his own right and held that exalted rank for 
two years. 

There can be no doubt that the unhappy 
episode involving the insurrection of a number 
of Masonic brethern in the purported 
establishment of "The Grand Lodge of Ontario" 
tried the mettle of Bro, Kerr early and 
severely. The sordid story is told adequately 
in Whence Come Me? dealing with the events of 
1875. What started out as a dispensation to 
some brethern in London to meet as "Eden Lodge" 
escalated into a major jurisdictional 
confrontation with a group of Masonic brethern 
purporting to establish a new Masonic governing 
body known as "The Grand Lodge of Ontario". 
It was alleged that after the settlement with 
the Grand Lodge of Quebec and the loss of the 
lodges to that grand jurisdiction in 1874 that 
the Grand Lodge of Canada no longer represented 
a delineated territorial jurisdiction and, 
therefore, the formation of a Grand Lodge of 
Ontario was necessary. There were other 
allegations of maladministration and improper 
Masonic practices but none were substantiated. 
Indeed, in the Annual Address for 1875 as 
Acting Grand Master, Bro. Kerr answered each 
allegation in turn. Chiefly as a result of his 
firm but enlightened intervention the explosive 
situation was dampened and controlled although 
the issue of the reinstatement of the 
recalcitrant brethern was not finally settled 


until 1896. The steam had gone out of the 
kettle long before that. 

Those of us who have been around long 
enough to remember the pre-Royal York Hotel 
sites for the Annual Convention of Grand Lodge 
will be amused to contemplate that that 
particular problem had been around for over one 
hundred years awaiting sensible solution. I 
can do no better than to repeat the story as 
presented in "Whence Come We? at page 109: 

The Date of the Annual Meeting. 
A resolution was passed in 1876 
that Grand Lodge should 
consider whether the time of 
holding its Annual 
Communication might not be 
changed to a cooler month than 
July. The Grand Master, 
M.W.Bro. J. K. Kerr, was 
unexpectedly called to Britain 
for the latter part of June and 
perhaps for July 1877. Because 
of his forthcoming absence and 
in order to test the sentiment 
for altering the time of the 
meeting, the Grand Master 
caused a circular to be mailed 
to each lodge on June 27, 1877, 
stating that Grand Lodge would 
assemble formally on July 11, 
but that no business would be 

Grand Lodge reconvened on 
September 12, 1877 with M. 
W.Bro. Kerr on the throne. A 
constitutional amendment was 
presented and adopted, to 
change the date of the Annual 


Comroun elation from July to 
September. A notice to 
reconsider the question was 
ruled out of order. The Board 
of General Purposes expressed 
its doubts, on purely 
constitutional grounds, about 
the propriety of the manner in 
which the meeting for the 
current year had been 
postponed. The date of the 
Communication, it noted, being 
fixed by the Constitution, 
could be changed only as 
directed by the Constitution. 

Although a motion to move the 
Communication from September 
back to July was defeated in 
1878, it passed in 1879. The 
July meetings were resumed in 
1880 and have continued ever 

The only aspect of that episode of special 
interest to a lawyer is to conjecture on why he 
was suddenly called to London. At that time, 
of course, appeals from Canadian courts still 
lay to the Privy Council in London, England. 
Although the Canadian courts usually rise at 
the end of June for the summer recess, this is 
not true in England where the courts normally 
sit through July and resume in October. One 
wonders whether our Grand Master had business 
of this nature to attend to. Be that as it may 
he certainly was right enough that annual 
communications in July in non-air conditioned 
premises in this jurisdiction are not conducive 
to meaningful discussion and may be risky for 
some of our more elderly brethern. 


Finally I would like to say a few words 
about Bro. Kerr's contribution to what might be 
referred to as Masonic jurisprudence. 

Our existing Masonic literature would 
appear to be accurate in the statement that no 
provision was made for rules of practice 
respecting Masonic trials in the 1855 
Constitution. By 1872 the need was felt for a 
statement, not only of what constituted Masonic 
offences and what did not, but also a code of 
rules and regulations for the government of 
Masonic trials. This task was entrusted to 
R.W.Bro. J.K. Kerr and he reported thereon in 
1874. His rules and Regulations for the 
Government of Masonic Trials were adopted and 
printed in 1875 and bound together with the 
Resolutions and Rulings of Grand Masters 
which had been compiled by R.W.Bro. Otto 
Klotz . 

The rules formulated by R.W.Bro. Kerr 
were for the conduct of trials before a lodge 
but these were to be applied by analogy to 
those trials before other tribunals, for 
example commissions. 

Having had some part to play in the 
formulation of our new constitution and rules 
adopted in 1979 and effective January 1, 1980, 
I am struck by the legal scholarship, 
sensitivity and fairness that went into the 
preparation of their predecessors in 1874 — more 
than one hundred years before. In turn it 
prompts me to say that it would be a mistake to 
believe that the protection of human rights and 
freedoms in this country begins with the 
Charter of 1982. May I add a footnote for 
posterity, perhaps, by disclosing that it was 
V.W.Bro. A. Foster Rodger, Q.C. of Ionic Lodge 
No. 25 who did the first draft of the sections 


in Part IV of the new 1979 Constitution dealing 
with these matters. 

In rounding off this rather disjointed 
statement of the Masonic career of Bro. Kerr, 
one must add that he was District Deputy Grand 
Master in 1874 at the age of 33. He was 
representative of the Grand Lodges of Misouri, 
Indiana, Texas, New Jersey and Utah, near his 
Grand Lodge. He was a royal Arch Mason; 
Provincial Prior, Knights Templar; Past Grand 
First Principal; A. & A. S.R. 33° and Kerr 
Lodge No. 230 in Barrie is named in his honour. 
The motto of Heritage Lodge No. 730 G.R.C. is 
"Light from the Past". Truly the light from 
the past shed by these worthy masons can be a 
sure guide into the uncertainty of the future. 

May I express my gratitude to M. 14. Bro. 
Robert E. Davies and his support staff at Grand 
Lodge offices for their generous cooperation 
and assistance in the researching of Grand 
Lodge records; to John M. Hodgson, Q.C. of 
Blake, Cassels & Graydon for his gracious and 
generous gesture in making the information in 
their history of the firm available to me; to 
Roy Schaeffer, Research Archivist of the Law 
Society of Upper Canada; and to R.H.Bro. 
Wallace McLeod for his encouragement and 
support which has aided me in ways he could not 


A.F. & A.M. , G.R.C. 


W.Bro. H. Stewart Greavette 

The newspapers in their "comic strips'* 
often have cartoons and comments that are 
interesting and amusing and at times very 
poignant. A recent one that created some 
interest among our agricultural population 
showed reporters interviewing a farmer who had 
just won a lottery, "What are you going to do 
with the lottery money?", they asked. He 
replied, "Oh, I guess I'll keep farming until 
it's all gone!". 

One of the more interesting ones that I 
have come across was the Morning Smile in the 
Globe and Mail, Feb. 27, 1982. It read: 

"The trouble with todays 
generation is that they have 
not read the minutes of 
previous meetings". 

Tonight we hope to introduce you to the 
minutes of the previous meeting as far as 
Masonry, its ideals and practices, its 
following and Influence and its actions and 
artifacts have influenced and been influenced 

•Paper presented at the Regular Meeting of The 
Heritage Lodge held in the Masonic Temple, 
Niagara Falls March 20, 1985. 


by events in the Niagara region. We are 
perhaps not looking at what may be defined in 
the strictest terms as a high level, academic 
mult i -footnoted dissertation. There are plenty 
of those around - ranging from Robertson's "The 
History of Freemasonry in Canada" , or his 
raulti-volumed set of original notes that are in 
the collection of the Grand Lodge Library, to 
the very readable "Whence Come We" which was 
authored by many but developed under the hand 
of Wallace Macleod. Rather we would prefer 
tonight to give you a series of vignettes 
outlining some interesting events that have 
occurred in the Niagara area. From this it is 
hoped that your interest will be peaked and 
that you might go to some of the sources that 
are available at the Grand Lodge Library, the 
Special Collections section at Brock University 
or even a reprinted publication that is to be 
made available through Heritage Lodge. 

Winston Churchill once said 

"History is just one damn 
thing after another" 

A lot of damn things happened in Niagara and 
from them our history evolved. 

The word Niagara is an Indian word. 
Ovinagarah, Ongiara, Niagara along with perhaps 
forty other forms of the word, which in the 
tongue of the Neutral Indians means "The 
Strait", was the name given to that part of 
Ontario lying between Lake Erie and Lake 

The Niagara Peninsula has been the cradle 
of much of the historical, political and 
fraternal development of the province of 
Ontario. It was here that the Neutral Indians 


first held sway, keeping apart the warring 
Huron s and Iroquois. Father Hennepin visited 
the mighty falls at Niagara in 1678 and opened 
the way for the first French Explorers and 
British settlers. Early attempts at local 
government were practiced here. The 
surrounding hills have echoed from the cries 
and the guns of war and the fields have been 
stained with the blood of many. Progressive 
communication systems were developed. And much 
of the early history of our Masonic Brotherhood 
in Upper Canada was written here. 

This paper is an overview of the 
development of Freemasonry in Niagara as 
reflected in the lodges that now comprise 
Niagara District 'A' . It is intended to show 
the evolution of the district and the formation 
of its const it utent lodges. Many of the early 
lodges survived but for a short time. However 
a few in the Niagara Peninsula continue to 
flourish, providing a thread along which to 
weave our story. 

Masonry was Introduced to the Niagara 
frontier by the Lodge of the 8th or King's Own 
Regiment of Foot. This lodge was issued a 
field warrant (No. 255, E.R. ) in 1755. The 
regiment came to Canada in 1768 and was 
garrisoned at Fort Niagara from 1773 to 1785. 
Several settlers from the west side of the 
river were initiated - the earliest recorded 
being in 1780. (See HfcejlCfi £ojdb H&2 "P. 18) 

The first civilian lodge of which there 
is record was St. John's Lodge of Friendship. 
It was warranted in 1782 or before, probably by 
the Prov. G.L. of New York (Ancients). It 
seems to have drawn its membership from those 
initiated into the Lodge of the 8th Regiment 
and probably from the United Empire Loyalists. 


This lodge was rewarrented in 1795 by tha First 
Provincial Grand Lodge of Upper Canada 
(Ancients) as No. 2. The lodge became Niagara 
No. 2 in 1845 and retained that name and number 
when it joined with other lodges in 1655 to 
form the Grand Lodge of Canada. 

A third lodge, St. John's Lodge No. 19 
received its warrant from the Prov. G.L. of 
Quebec (Moderns) in 1787. It appears to have 
worked in close harmony with St. John's Lodge 
of Friendship until 1794 or 1795 when they 
amalgamated to form No. 2. At the time of the 
Constitutional Act of 1791, these lodges were 
two of only four that were active in Upper 
Canada . 

The first record we have of Masonry in 
Upper Canada is the original Master Mason ' s 
certificate given to Bro. Joseph Clement and 
dated Sept. 23, 1780. It reads: 


We, the Master, Wardens and 
Secretary of Lodge No. 156 of 
Free and Accepted Masons from 
the Grand Constitution of 
England, held in the King's or 
8th Regiment of Foot. 

Adorned with all their 
honours and assembled lodge in 
due form, do hereby declare, 
certify and attest, to all men 
lightened by the truth, and 
spread on the face of the 
earth, that the, bearer hereof, 
our worthy Brother Joseph 
Clement, has been by us 
lawfully entered an Apprentice, 


Passed a Fellow Craft, and 
after having sustained with 
strength and courage the most 
Painful Works and Severest 
Tryalls, we have raised him 
into the sublime degree of 
Master Mason, and have entitled 
him, as such, to the mysterious 
and most secret Works of the 
Royal Art, and he may, without 
demur or hesitation, be 
admitted or incorporated into 
any Lawful Warranted Body 
wheresoever met, congregated or 
convened, having to the utmost 
of his power strenuously 
supported and contributed to 
the advancement and interest of 
Masonry with zeal and power. 

Jno. Bailey, 

J. McLauchlan, S.W. 

Francis Sinclair, J.W. 

Ne varietur. 

Given under our hand and the 
seal of our Lodge this 23rd day 
of September, A.L. 5780, A.D. 
1 780 . 

John McLauchlan, Acting Sec'y. 
J.Ross Robertson, Vol. I, pg. 256 

That there was discontent with some of 
the practices of the Grand Lodge of England is 
evident from a letter written by St . John ' s 
Lodge #19 in 1788. It concerned the lack of a 
receipt from the Grand Lodge of England for 
fees forwarded to the Provincial Grand Lodge of 
Quebec for the registration of the Lodge. The 
Brethern write: 


"what surprises us most is 
that we have no acknowledement 
for the money we have remitted 
to the Grand Lodge of England 
for constituting the Lodge at 
Niagara called St. John's 
Lodge; unless the Prov. Grand 
Lodge can give the said Lodge 
of Niagara as assurance that 
their Fees have been regularly 
paid, so that they may be 
registered by the Grand Lodge 
of England, we fear they will 
follow the example of some 
other Lodges in this Province 
by refusing to contribute a 
single shilling to the 
contingencies either of this 
Grand Lodge or that of England, 
and we will not undertake to 
answer for the consequences: 
for with all our attention & 
Zeal & Desire to conform to the 
true principles of our 
institution, we have not been a 
little reproached, not from any 
error on this side of the 
water, and we beg to leave to 
say we have struggled hard to 
preserve the unanimity & 
harmony that has hitherto 

J . Ross Robert son , Vol . 1 , pg . 276 

These statements would come back to haunt the 
Grand Lodge of England in 1855. 

In June of 1791 the government Land Board 
recognized the fraternity by providing a 


meeting place for it. On that date it 
authorized the building of a public house and a 
Mason's Lodge next to it. Why one would build 
a Mason's Lodge next to a tavern is open for 
conjecture. However, perhaps that is the 
origin of the unofficial forth degree. 

This was the first lodge room built 
especially for Mason's in Upper Canada. It was 
an historic meeting place, being a two storey 
building with the top floor dedicated to the 
craft and the botton floor devoted to public 
use. The meetings of the agricultural society 
were held here, as were conferences between 
Governor Simcoe and the Mohawks. Mrs. Simcoe 
in her diary indicated it was also used for 
Sunday Service. 

The War of 1812 provided some interesting 
views of the conduct of our Masonic ancestors 
during the conflict. It is perhaps worthy of 
note that the civility which was practice among 
members of the craft was seemingly not extended 
to the soldiers at large. The discrepencies 
between duty to country and belief in the 
teachings of the craft are certainly worthy of 
the consideration of one cognizant of the 
phllisophical implication of each side. Be 
that as it may, events reputed to have occurred 
during that time make for interesting reading. 
Two such stories are as follows: 

"The following is given on 
the authority of an American 
captain of infantry, who took 
part in the capture of Fort 
George during the 1812 war. 
(Actual date 27th May, 1813). 
The British troops were 
informed that orders had been 
issued to the American soldiers 


to give no quarter. This had 
probably been done for the 
purpose of inducing them to 
fight with greater desparation 
and to prevent desertion. 
After Captain Arrowsmith ' s 
Company had landed and formed, 
he led them to the charge. The 
British troops retired as the 
Americans advanced, leaving a 
young wounded officer in the 
line of Arrowsmith 's Company. 
As they approached he arose on 
one leg (the other was broken) 
and attempted to get out of the 
way, believing they would 
bayonet him if he did not. 
Unable to accompish his purpose 
he fell but turning to them as 
he sat on the ground, he gave a 
soul -thrilling appeal to a 
Mason. Captain Arrowsmith 
described his feelings at that 
moment as the most extra- 
ordinary he had ever 
experienced. I felt, he said, 
as if the hairs of my head 
stood upright and held off my 
hat. But he instantly called 
to the wounded man, "Don't be 
afraid, my brave fellow, you 
shan't be hurt". Soon after he 
saw a surgeon, and informed him 
that a friend of his, with a 
red coat, lay wounded in the 
rear near a certain bush, and 
requested his attention to him, 
a wish that was immediately 
complied with. Arrowsmith, who 
was wounded in the head during 
the same battle, was shortly 


afterwards laid by the side of 
his friend with the red coat, 
where they had time to 
cultivate an intimate 
friendship, which lasted for 
many years". 

J.E. Taylor CMRA #44 

Capt. John P. Clement, who 
died in 1845, was a brother of 
Bro. Joseph Clement, a member of 
lodge No. 156, in the 8th 
regiment, and a member of lodge 
No. 2, of Friendship, 
Queen ston, and a U.E. Loyalist, 
who fought on the side of the 
British in Butler's Rangers. 
When the incident referred to 
occurred he had charge of some 
Indians, and was fighting at 
Chippewa. Clement's company 
had advanced and had taken some 
rifle pits, when the captain 
observed one of the enemy 
wounded, whom the Indians were 
about to scalp. 

The poor prisoner, scarcely 
able to stand, and with his 
left hand helpless from the 
blow of a tomahawk, saw that he 
would have to pay a terrible 
penalty of savage warfare and 
struggled with a powerful 
Indian, whose keen knife was 
ready for its gory mission. 
With a wild shout the American 
freed himself, and, seeing an 
officer crossing an earthwork 
and coming toward him, he 


hastily gave a sign and 
appealed for protection, 
calling on the officer to save 
him from a cruel death. Capt. 
Clemont took in the situation 
at once and with fleet foot, 
for he was young and active, 
rushed to the aid of his 
brother, and, as in the 
uplifted hand of the savage the 
bright blade glistened in the 
morning sun, descending to its 
deadly work, Clement seized the 
strong arm, threw the Indian on 
his back, ordered him off, and, 
although the British had to 
retreat, called an orderly and 
had the officer carried away as 
a prisoner. A surgeon was 
found and the wounded man 
conveyed to a farmhouse, where 
the greatest care was taken of 
him. When sufficiently 
recovered he was sent to his 
home in the State of New York, 
forever, grateful that he had 
knelt at a Masonic altar. 

It is related that Clement 
some months afterwards was 
taken prisoner by the Americans 
and lodged in a neighboring 
jail, in New York State. The 
next morning when visited in 
his cell he found his custodian 
was the very man whose life he 
had saved at Chippewa. That 
night a friend came to him and 
intimated that at early dawn 
the jail door would be on the 
latch and that outside a horse, 


wagon and driver would be in 
waiting to convey bin as 
quickly as possible to tbe 


And of course what tales are there to 
tell of the events surrounding Laura Secord, 
wife of Bro. James Secord and great, great, 
great, great aunt of R.W.Bro. Wally Secord and 
the young gallant Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon, 
later to be appointed Deputy Provincial Grand 
Master in 1822. 

A dark time for the Craft occurred in the 
1820*8 and surrounded the alleged disappearance 
and murder of William Morgan. Whether he was 
murdered by Masons in Niagara or died in the 
mid 1800's in Hobart, Tasmania depends on the 
account read and the evidence believed. 
Nevertheless it is a fact that Masonry on this 
continent was forced underground. Lodges in 
Niagara, as with all other places, virtually 
ceased to meet. In the United States an Anti- 
Masonic political movement influenced the 
decisions of voters for many years. Jewels and 
masonic documents were stored away and 
carefully guarded. There is record that the 
regalia and records of Union Lodge in Grimsby 
were hidden in a cave in the escarpment and 
protected by a brother whose family preserved 
them during the hostilities of 1812-1815. 

Between 1791 and 1855 no fewer than six 
attempts were made to organize the lodges in 
Upper Canada that worked under dispensation 
from the Grand Lodge of England. The First 
Provincial Grand Lodge operated from 1792 to 
1817. The Schismatic Grand Lodge at Niagara 
operated from 1802 to 1822, the Grand Masonic 


Convention from 1817 to 1822, the Second 
Provincial Grand Lodge from 1822 to 1842, the 
Second Convention from 1842 to 1844 and the 
Third Provincial Grand Lodge from 1844 to 1858. 
Several Lodges appeared and disappeared in the 
Niagara region during those years, but two, St. 
George's No. 15 and Amity No. 32, were 
warranted and continue to operate today. 

St. George's Lodge was given their 
charter in 1816 by the Schismatic Grand Lodge 
at Niagara. It appears that St. George's had 
begun meeting in 1814 but that the level of 
hostilities created by the War of 1812 and 
other uncertainties prevented the charter from 
being delivered for two years. The lodge 
remained active until about 1837 when it 
temporarily ceased operation. It was revived 
under the Third Prov. G.L. in 1846 and had 
operated continuously since that time. 

Masonry in the Dunnville area began in 
1850 with the institution, under the Third 
Prov. G.L. of Amity Lodge, then No. 29. In 
1854 a second lodge, Wellington Lodge, was 
warranted under the Irish constitution. 
Wellington Lodge became one of the founding 
members of the Grand Lodge of Canada in 1855 
and it was given the number 24. Wellington 
Lodge and Amity Lodge worked in close harmony, 
sharing meeting places and attending each 
others ceremonies and social functions. With 
the Union in 1858 of the G.L. of Canada and the 
Prov. G.L. of Canada West, Amity was given the 
number 32 and Wellington became number 52. A 
proposal for union with Amity was rejected by 
Wellington in 1859. In 1865 Wellington Lodge 
surrendered its charter to the G.L.C. It is 
assumed that its brethern then affiliated with 


In July, 1855, a meeting of major 
importance was held at Niagara Falls. The 
occasion was a communication of the Third Prov. 
G.L. Much discontent had arisen through the 
years with the functioning of the various Grand 
Jurisdictions in Canada. (See Whence Coma Me ? 
- P. 68) When a call for a special meeting to 
discuss the problem was rejected, the 
separatists met and resolved to ask every lodge 
in the province to send delegates to Hamilton 
on Oct. 10, 1855 "for the purpose of 
considering the expediency of establishing an 
independent Grand Lodge of Canada". 

Kivas Tully, Thomas Harris, John Morrison 
and other distinguished brethern from our 
Masonic past were at the Clifton House that 
day - not far from where we meet this evening. 
The Provincial Grand Master, Sir Allan Napier 
MacNab and his deputy Thomas Ridout 
orchestrated a group of moderates who called 
for restraint and the sending of a further 
memorial and delegation directly to England. 
Not wishing to be delayed further, the 
separatist met and passed the necessary 
resolutions. Between July and October much 
work was done in preparation for that historic 
meeting and there is little doubt that the 
brethern of Niagara, with expertise gained from 
many years in the craft, participated fully in 
the organizational decisions. 

With the formation of the Grand Lodge of 
Canada in October, 1855, the long process of 
evolution of the masonic districts began. It 
was necessary that districts be formed and that 
district responsibilities be allocated. The 
delegation of responsibilities improved the 
functioning of the organization, established 
sound links between the central authority and 
its member groups and developed a feeling of 


involvement and belonging. A high level of 
involvement was essential if the newly formed 
Grand Lodge was to 'spread the word* and became 
recognized by other Grand Jurisdictions as 
being efficient, stable and representative of 
masons in Upper Canada. 

At the formation of our Grand Lodge, 
three districts, Western Central and Eastern, 
were established. The two lodges from the 
present Niagara District 'A* that Joined the 
Grand Lodge of Canada in 1855 were Niagara 
Lodge and St. George's Lodge. They were placed 
as part of the Central District. 

The communication of 1856 authorized the 
formation of seven districts. The Niagara 
peninsula became part of Hamilton District 
which stretched from London to the Credit River 
and Huron and Bruce counties south to Lake 

Maple Leaf Lodge and Amity Lodge joined 
the district in 1858. Maple Leaf was newly 
constituted and Amity joined as a result of the 
union. In 1859, the numbering system of 
constitutent lodges became formalized and the 
numbers that we are familiar with today 
(Niagara No. 2, St. George's No. 15, Amity No. 
32, Maple Leaf No. 103) were assigned. The 
same year it was recommended that the Grand 
Lodge be divided into 14 districts. A division 
into 10 districts was accepted at the 
communication and Hamilton District was 
redefined to be the counties of Halton, 
Uentworth, Lincoln, Haldimond and Wei land. 

The fifth of the lodges that eventually 
formed Niagara 'A' was constituted in 1860 in 
Smithville when Ivy Lodge No. 115 was formed. 
It was to work in Smithville for the next 


eleven years. 

By 1861 there were 19 lodges and 805 
members in Hamilton District. A standard work 
had been exemplified in 1859 and was now in 
widespread use throughout the Grand 
Jurisdiction. A standard recommended form for 
lodge minutes was adopted at the annual 
communication in 1861. 

Confederation saw the Hamilton district 
boasting 22 lodges and 933 members. The Grand 
Lodge had 185 lodges and approximately 7000 
members under its banners. (An interesting 
problem arose for the Grand Lodge at the laying 
of the corner stone of the Parliament building 
in Ottawa - see Annual Communication 1867). 
1867 also saw James Seymore becoming 
increasingly prominent in Grand Lodge 
activities as D.D.G.M. for Hamilton. 

In 1870 Mountain Lodge was formed in 
Thorold. It became No. 221 on the register. 
It can be seen from the higher lodge number 
that the Grand Lodge of Canada was growing very 
rapidly. During the 10 years from 1860 to 1870 
upwards of 110 lodges were given their 
charters. Even though 38 lodges would be 
ceeded to the Grand Lodge of Quebec by 1874, 6 
to the Grand Lodge of Manitoba in 1875, and 
several others relinquished their charters due 
to inactivity, the Grand Lodge of Canada's 
sphere of influence grew steadily. 

The district Deputy's report of 1870 
called for the formation of a district called 
Niagara to be made up of the counties of 
Lincoln, Welland and Haldiroond. At the annual 
communication that year the province was 
reorganized into 16 districts, Niagara being 
formed along the recommended lines with sixteen 


lodges . 

James Seymour became Grand Master in 1871. 

JajBfiLS Seymour G.M. 1871-72 

- Born Limmerick, Ireland 5-11-1825 

- Died St. Catherines 9-1-1888 

- Newspaper Editor and Collector of Customs 

- Initiated Barton Lodge No. 6, Hamilton 13-2- 

- Affiliated St. George's No. 15, St. 
Catherines 7-7-1857 

- Charter Member of Maple Leaf No. 103, 1858 

- W.M. Maple Leaf 1860 

- Helped found Mount Moriah Chapter No. 19 
(Charter First Principal) 

- Grand First Principal 1874 

- Helped found Seymour No. 277 

- Founder of Plant agenet Preciptory No. 19, 
1866. Charter Eminent Commander 

- Grand Junior Deacon 1860 

- Grand Junior Harden 1862 

- Board of General Purposes 1863 until his 

- D.D.G.M. of Hamilton 1866-1867 

- Deputy Grand Master 1869-71 

Ivy Lodge moved from Smithvllle to 
Beamsville due, in the words of the District 
Deputy, to the "lodge languishing for some time 
in that former place". Seymour Lodge No. 277, 
Port Dalhousie, received its charter in 1872 
and Temple Lodge No. 296, St. Catherines joined 
the district in 1873. Duffer in Lodge No. 338, 
Uellandport, was warranted in 1876. The first 
recorded joint Divine Service occurs in 1876. 
It was sponsored by St. George's, Temple and 
Maple Leaf on Dec. 31st. 


In 1876 there was an attempt to organize 
the grand Lodge of Ontario. This * clandestine 1 
organization formed a number of lodges 
throughout the province and many brother n of 
the Grand Lodge of Canada Joined. The grand 
Lodge of Canada rejected this group and all 
brethern recognizing It were suspended ( see 
£Jheji£fi £ojk He-P.107). 

During these years the Grand Lodge of 
Canada held many special communications 
throughout the province to lay the cornerstones 
for churches, schools, federal, provincial and 
municipal offices, Y.M.C.A. 's, lodges and the 
like. The Grand Lodge met In most parts of the 
district at one time or another for such 
ceremonies. This practice continued until the 
early 1900 's. The annual communications were 
also held at a number of locations, from 
Cornwall to Port Arthur-Fort William and from 
Sarnia to Niagara Palls to Ottawa. On several 
occasions the Niagara peninsula hosted the 
annual meeting at St. Catherines or at Niagara 

One hundred years ago (1882) the 
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Canada 
stretched from the Holy Land (Royal Solomon 
Mother Lodge No. 293, Jerusalem) to the North 
West Territories (Prince Albert Lodge No. 381, 
Prince Albert ) . There were 348 lodges and 
over 18000 masons owing allegiance. There were 
23 lodges in the Niagara district. Membership 
was strong (No. 2 - 46, No. 15 - 116, No. 32 - 83, 
No. 103 -89, No. 115 - 51, No. 221 - 76, No. 
277 -46, No. 296 -56, No. 338 - 26) and yet the 
District Deputy of the day mentioned those 
three universal concerns in his annual report: 
(1) attendance; (2) adherance to obligations; 
and (3) masons in name but not in reality. St. 
George's, Maple Leaf and Temple Lodges bought 


and operated a number of grave plots for use by 
masons. A District Life Assurance Co. was 
functioning in the peninsula. 

R.W.Bro. W. Gibson from Beamsville was 
elected D.D.G.M. in 1864. He was later to 
become the second Grand Master to come from the 
Niagara district (1896). 

A short history of the Niagara district 
was included in the D.D.G.M. report of 1886 (p. 
87-89), and the following year it was 
recommended that a district history be written. 
Niagara became District No. 10 in 1886 with 22 
lodges. There was "great discord" at Amity. 
The prospects of Duffer in and Seymour were seen 
as poor. 

In 1892 a celebration was held at Niagara 
No. 2 commemorating 100 years of Masonry in the 
province. It appears that at this time the 
practice of visiting with the D.D.G.M. became 
the rule. A picture of M.W.Bro. Seymour was 
presented to Seymour Lodge by his son. When 
the D.D.G.M. visited Maple Leaf Lodge he 
witnessed three Initiations and two passings on 
the same night. 

H^ Gibson G.M. 1896-98 

- Born Peterhead, Scotland 7-8-1849 

- Died Beamsville 4-5-1914 

- Civil engineer, Quarrier, Contractor - worked 
on St. Clair tunnel, Holland Canal, Victoria 
Bridge (Montreal) 

- M.P. for Lincoln 1891 (Liberal - Whip 1900) 

- Home in Beamsville now Great Lakes Christian 

- Affiliated Ivy Lodge, 1879, Master 1881, 
D.D.G.M. 1883-84 

- Past Grand First Principal 


- Supreme Grand Master of Great Priory 

- Scotish Rite 33° 

By the turn of the century, the Niagara 
district appeared to be recovering from a time 
of low attendance and lack of interest that had 
lasted for the previous five or six years. The 
Grand Lodge of Ontario ceased to exist and its 
members were absorbed into The Grand Lodge of 
Canada. The districts continued to be 
reorganized (22 districts in 1904) but Niagara 
remained the same. I*). J. Drope was elected 
D. D.G.N, in 1902. He was from Union Lodge No. 7 
in Grimsby and became the third district mason 
to serve as Grand Master (1924). 

In 1907 Temple Lodge boasted a full 
musical ritual and the St. Georges Quartet was 
well known throughout the district. The first 
record of a District Chaplain being appointed 
occured in the D.D.G.M. report of 1908. Much 
effort was made at visiting. All lodge rooms 
in the district had been dedicated by 1910. A 
sleigh load of brethern from Dufferin 
instituted Coronation Lodge No. 502, Smithille, 
in Jan. 1912. Dufferin was later visited by a 
yacht load of brethern from Weliand. 

World War I produced much patriotic and 
nationalistic rhetoric which was duly recorded 
in the Proceedings of Grand Lodge. Grand Lodge 
supported the Belgium Relief Fund to which 
Niagara brethern donated $2405 from Oct. 1914 
to July 1915. 1916 brought yet another 
reorganization of districts. This time Niagara 
No. 10 was reduced to 20 lodges with the 
remainder being placed in other districts due 
to distance, local interest, etc. 

The five years following the Great Mar 
were a time of significant growth in Masonry in 


the province. In 1922 there Mere 497 warranted 
lodges and 29 others under dispensation. 
Niagara grew by 5 lodges during that time with 
4 being granted charters in 1923. Two of those 
were to become part of Niagara 'A 1 * Adanac No. 
614, Merritton and Perfection No. 616 , St. 
Catherines. That same year the districts were 
once again reorganized. Thirty-two districts 
were created with Niagara No. 10 having 24 
lodges (Union No. 7, Grimsby went to Hamilton 
'B'). A past Masters Association was 
flourishing in St. Catherines. By 1929 it was 
called a Master's and Warden's Association. 
Maple Leaf Lodge was famous for its musical 
ritual. Six hundred district masons attended a 
reception for the Grand Master at St. Thomas 
Hall, St. Catherines, in 1927. 

W.J. Drope G.M. 1923-25 

- Born Northumberland County 1866 

- Died Grimsby 20-6-1927 

- Teacher - founded Lake Lodge School for Boys 
at Grimsby 

- Initiated Peterborough Lodge No. 155, 1892 

- Affiliated Union No. 7 1899 

- W.M. 1900 

- D.D.G.M. 1902 

- Board of G.P. 1907 until his death 

- D.G.M. 1921 

- Royal Arch Mason, Scottish Rite, Royal Order 
of Scotland 

Between 1926 and 1930 interest for 
dividing Niagara into two more manageable 
districts waxed and waned. A petition from 
the district in 1927 indicated that all but one 
lodge favoured division. A Grand Lodge 
committee set up to study the matter reported 
that only twelve or thirteen lodges actually 


supported this move. In 1929 petition was made 

again. The Grand Lodge committee found this 

time that all but one lodge supported the 

division. At the annual coaraun elation in 1990 

Niagara District was divided into two 

districts, Niagara 'A' with 12 lodges and 

Niagara 'B' with 13. Niagara 'A 1 had come into 

The Niagaga peninsula was divided, for 
Masonic purposes, on a diagonal from Niagara to 
Dunniville across the peninsula. Lodges to the 
south and east were designated as Niagara 'B*; 
those to the north and west Niagara 'A*. 
While the distance between Niagara-on-the-Lake 
and Dunnville is considerable, it is felt that 
the lodges grouped in Niagara 'A 9 were done so 
for two reasons. It was felt that lodges which 
enjoyed masonic fellowship from the earliest 
times should be part of the same district. It 
also appears that Amity, Coronation and 
Dufferin expressed a strong desire to remain 
in the same district. Thus when a motion re: 
division was drafted in St. Catherines on Mar. 
7, 1930 under the direction of the D.D.G.M., 
R.W.Bro. James Dakers of Temple Lodge, it was 
accepted and passed by all but one of the 
District Lodges. 

Events in Niagara 'A* between 1930 and 
1941 are at best sketchy. The district minute 
book for that time period has been lost and 
thus no accurate records are presently 
available. In fact, there is no record of a 
district meeting to elect a D.D.G.M. prior to 
1945. The district minute book (1941-1980) 
shows that in 1944 it was decided that no 
district meeting would be held due to the fact 
that the G.M. had visited 'A' and 'B' in April 
1943, that Grand Lodge had dispensed with the 
British War Relief Fund and that there was a 


shortage of gasoline and tires. In 1945 (July) 
the district secretary writes: 

.... and the shortage of gas and 
scarcity of tires, it was not 
considered advisable to hold 
any meetings (district) during 
the year (1944-1945). 
While we realize that this book 
is for the recording of the 
minutes of "any district 
meetings that may take place", 
we thought it would be of some 
interest to future generations 
of Masonry to know while it was 
not thought advisable to hold 
district meetings, the 
interests of the various lodges 
and Masonry at large was not 
lost sight of. 

By 1935 it was realized that a formula for 
selecting the lodge that would put forward a 
candidate for the office of D.D.G.M. should be 
adopted. At a meeting on May 7th of the year, 
it was moved by R.W.Bro. J.H. Brown, seconded 
by R.W.Bro. J.N. Allan: 

that we, an assembly of 
wardens, masters and past 
masters of the District of 
Niagara 'A' at St. Catherines, 
Ont., May 7th 1935, having in 
mind the continuance of harmony 
throughout the district , agree 
that the D.D.G.M. shall be 
elected from one of the lodges 
in St. Catherines once every 
third year, and from one of the 
other lodges situated outside 
the City of St. Catherines each 


succeeding two years; and that 
a copy of this resolution be 
sent to each lodge in the above 
mentioned District of Niagara 

It was understood that each lodge in the 
district would have a candidate in turn. The 
first cycle, deemed to have begun in 1931, was 
Amity, Seymour, Maple Leaf, Duffer in, 
Mountain, St. George's, Coronation, Adanac, 
Temple, Ivy, Niagara and Perfection. This 
resolution was re-affirmed at a district 
meeting in St. Catherines in 1942. 

When St. Andrew's Lodge was instituted in 
1949, it was necessary to amend the resolution. 
At a district meeting in Smithville in June 
1959, it was moved by R.W.Bro. Allan and 
seconded by R.W.Bro. J. Backers: 

that the agreement regarding 
the election of a D.D.G.M. from 
amongst our lodges be amended 
by adding "and because of the 
institution of another lodge in 
the City of St. Catherines, 
that city shall have the 
D.D.G.M. in the year 1961 and 
each 13th year thereafter". 

This resolution was carried at that meeting and 
at the district meeting in July, 1950, and was 
reconfirmed in July 1953 and in 1954. (In 1959 
this resolution was altered to read " the 
year 1960-61 and. . . " ) . 

In 1960, after the formation of Grantham 
Lodge, No. 697, the 'gentleman's agreement' was 
again altered. It was now referred to for the 
first time in the minutes as a 'rotation' and 


it was moved by V.W.Bro. Don Mable, seconded by 
W.Bro. Bill Mable: 

that Grantham Lodge, No. 697 be 
included ...and that (it) be 
inserted in the rotation 
immediately ahead of Mountain 
Lodge in the next rotation. 

The motion was carried and the established 
order became, beginning in 1960-61, St. 
Andrew's, St. George's, Coronation, Adanac, 
Temple, Ivy, Niagara, Perfection, Amity, 
Seymour, Maple Leaf, Duffer in, Grantham and 
Mountain. It was also informally agreed that 
lodges would be able to switch their places 
with another lodge during a specific rotation 
in order to allow a lodge the privilage of a 
D.D.G.M. during anniversary years, etc. This 
has been done on several occasions. 

There appears to be some confusion 
regarding the existence of a formal Past 
Master ' s or Master ' s and Warden ' s Association 
in the District. In the D.D.G.M. ' s reports of 
1919 and 1929 reference is made to a Past 
Master's Association (1919) and a Master's and 
Warden's Association (1929) that were 
flourishing. Interest in these associations 
seems to have disappeared during the 1930 's 
because at a district meeting in January 1942, 
consideration was given to the adviseability of 
forming a Past Master's Association for Niagara 
'A'. After some discussion it was moved that 
the matter be left over to the next meeting. 
In March, 1942, it was moved that the D.D.G.M. 
call a meeting of past Masters, Masters and 
Wardens of the district at least twice a year. 
That motion was carried. 

Meeting of Past Masters, Masters and 


Wardens were held in Nov. 1942 and Feb. 1943. 
The next recorded meeting was in Oct. 1946 when 
it was passed that the D.D.G.M. be president 
and the district secretary be secretary of a 
past masters organization. There were to be 
five committee members - two from the city (St. 
Catherines) lodges and three from the outlying 
district. Although the five committee members 
were named, there is no record of this group 
ever meeting. 

In Oct. 1950, a meeting of Past Masters, 
Masters, and Wardens was called for the purpose 
of organizing a Master's and Warden's 
Association based on the model of a similar 
organization in Niagara 'B*. A motion to form 
the association operating under the present By- 
Laws of the Niagara 'B* association was 
carried. The first officers were: C.C. Martin 
- Pres. , C.A. Sankey - V.Pres., F.Davis - Sec. 
TVeas. The new association agreed to hold its 
first meeting at Niagara, No. 2. The 
association continues to flourish. 

In 1942 consideration was given to the 
possibility of adding Union Lodge, No. 7, 
Grimsby to Niagara 'A'. The matter was to be 
taken up with Union Lodge and if they were 
interested Grand Lodge would be approached. 
There is no record of further discussion on 
this matter. 

On July 18, 1945, Grand Lodge adopted the 
criteria for presenting a medal, called the 
William Mercer Medal for Meritorious Service, 
to members of the fraternity who excelled in 
service to their Lodge and to the community. 
It was named in honour of William Mercer 
Wilson, the first Grand Master of the Grand 
Lodge of Canada. The medal is presented to 
brethern, W.M. and P.M. excluded, who have 


demonstrated "meritorious service. . .far beyond 
the usual service expected of an officer or 
member". Brethern meriting this honour are 
recommended to Grand Lodge by their own lodge. 
The Award Committee, after due consideration of 
information submitted to there, rule on the 
application * The Lodge, by means of a 
resolution, support the awarding of the medal. 

The following bretheren of Niagara 'A 1 
have received this high honour. 

Frank J. Forse - Mountain — 1958 

Robert Benson - Temple — 1964 

William Howard Garringer - Amity —1968 

Clifford Nay lor - Maple Leaf —1968 

Walter Robson Scott - Ivy — 1969 

John Thomas - Perfection — 1974 

The question of concurrent jurisdiction 
between Niagara No. 2 and Niagara 'B* was first 
discussed in 1946. The matter was referred to 
Grand Lodge. Eventually concurrent 
jurisdiction of all lodges in the district was 
approved (1974). 

W.Bro. P.G. Moore of Perfection Lodge 
presented a register to the district in 1946 
that was to be placed in the St. Catherines 
Hospital for the convenience of all members of 
the order whether residing in this or other 
outlying districts. Brethern 'enjoying* a stay 
at the hospital were, and still are, asked to 
record their names in it so that Sick and 
Visiting Committee members will have an easier 
time visiting masonic brethern. A second 
register was later placed in the Hotel Dieu 
Hospital, St. Catherines, the gift of Maple 
Leaf Lodge. 


Niagara 'A 1 gained special attention in 
1960 and 1961 as a result of their donations of 
blood. The district topped the Grand 
jurisdiction both years by giving 482 and then 
516 pints of blood - that is one donation for 
each seven members of the craft in the 
district. Since the Grand Lodge only began its 
official support of the project in 1957 (first 
report 1958), it can be seen that Niagara 'A' 
responded well and quickly to the challenge. 
Throughout the 1960's the annual count remained 
in the 300 to 400 range. With the count 
dropping in the early 1970 *s it was decided to 
award a trophy in 1974 to the lodge achieving 
the highest percentage of donations per 
membership. This immediately stimulated 
interest as the total number of donations for 
this district increased three fold from 1974 to 
1975. The trophy was won by Coronation in 1974 
and has been won every year since then by Amity 
Lodge. The district total has remained in the 
200-250 donation range for the past few years. 

The district has a tradition of 
nominating at least two brethern for the office 
of D.D.G.H. at each annual meeting. It is 
customary that the in line D.D.G.M and his 
proposed successor both have their names put 
forward. After nominations have closed, the 
successor, with the consent of his nominators, 
bows out. This tradition began in 1950 when 
W.Bro.F.R. Davis (Temple) was nominated for the 
office of D.D.G.H. It being Adanac's turn, 
Bro. Davis withdrew his name in favour of the 
brethern from Adanac (two were nominated). The 
custom continues today. 

A second tradition revolves around 
R.W.Bro. Rev. Alex Campbell. For many years it 
has been Bro. Campbell's 'duty* to express the 
thanks of the district to the outgoing D.D.G.M. 


and to offer congratulations and support to the 
new D.D.G.M. Bro. Campbell's gift of rhetoric 
and sense of humour close the meeting on a 
happy note. 

In 1965 Niagara 'A' had the privilege of 
supporting the fourth Grand Master to come from 
the district. 

JL2L. Allan G.M. 1965-1967 

- Born Dunnville 13-11-1894 

- Dairyman 

- O.A.C. 1914 

- Agricultural Rep. for Lanark, Wentwork 

- Grace United Church Elder 

- Served on Canboro and Dunn vile councils 

- Mayor of Dunnville 

- M.L.A. Haldimond 1951 

- Cabinet 1955 - Five Portfolios 

- Initiated Amity 1919 

- W.M. 1925 

- D.D.G.M. 1931 

- Board of G.P. 1947 to present 

- D.G.M. 1963-1965 

- McCallum Chapter, Scottish Rite 33°, Royal 
Order of Scotland, Shriner. 

R.W.Bro. C.A. Sankey reported in 1976 
that Brock University was about to reserve a 
section of the special collections room for the 
housing of masonic books donated to its 
library. The books were to be maintained by 
the university and would be available to the 
brethern for on property perusal. Lodges are 
requested to donate copies of their histories 
and any other worthwhile publications they 
might have to the library at Brock. The 
section has steadily grown, providing a good 
starting point for masonic research. Some 300 
volumes and publications are currently on file. 


In 1976, the Masters and Wardens 
Association sponsored the publication of the 
Niagara 'A' Grapevine, a newsletter designed to 
provide a way of publicizing events of interest 
throughout the district. The newsletter has 
been published periodically since that time 
(No. 9 in Jan. 1982). Lodges have been invited 
to submit material for the newsletter in a hope 
that by such communication the district lodges 
may have closer contact with each other. A 
second recent district project was 
participation in the display of historical 
artifacts at the 125th Annual Communication in 
1980. The three senior lodges, Niagara, St. 
George's and Amity displayed materials from 
their own collections. The remaining lodges 
pooled examples of masonic memorabilia. 

Niagara 'A' is a district rich in history 
and tradition. Niagara has been at the 
forefront of Masonry in Ontario for 200 years. 
It has given much and received much. But 
Masonry is not a place or a room or a time. It 
is a feeling, a belief that is shared by like 
minded men. It is sharing, visiting and 
fellowship. Niagara 'A* has displayed these 
qualities for all of its history and has a 
degree of fraternal fellowship that is second 
to none. 


Herrington, U.S. , History q£ tb& Grand Lodg* qL 

Canada r Grand Lodge of Canada, 1942. 
McComb, M.J. , Beginning s oJL Freemasonry In th& 

City of £1^ Catherines , #61 Canadian 
Masonic Research Association, 1961 
McLeod, W.E., (ed.), Beyond Ihfi Pillars . Grand 
Lodge of Canada, 1973 


McLeod, W.E., i od . ) . frftience £ojmj& Hft?, Grand 

Lodge of Canada, 1980 
Robertson. J.R. , History OX Freftma«onry in 

Canada, Toronto, 1900 

Runnalls, J.L., Niagara Lodga Nq_^ 2, #62 

Canadian Masonic Research Association, 1962 

Talman, J. J. , Freemasonry In £hs Niagara 

District r Grand Lodge of Canada, 1942 
Taylor, John Edward, Canadian Masonic Research 

Association, Bulletin No. 44, 19 
Proceedings r Grand Lodge of Canada, 1855 - 1981 
Minute Books, Published Histories of the 

Lodges, Niagara 'A* 
Niagara District 'A* Minute Book 1941 - 1980 
Personal Communication - J.L. Runnals 


W.Bro. H. Stewart Greavette was Initiated 
into Freemasonry in Golden Rule Lodge No. 409, 
Gravenhurst, Ontario, in June, 1967; and the 
following year affiliated with Perfection Lodge 
No. 616, St. Catherines. He was Installed as 
Worshipful Master of Perfection Lodge in 1974 
and was elected Secretary of the Lodge in 1984. 

Brother Greavette is a member of Elgin 
Lodge of Perfection, Niagara Rose Croix and 
Moore Sovereign Consistory; and a Charter 
Member of The Heritage Lodge No. 730. Brother 
Greavette is active in the District of Niagara 
A being Chairman of the District Committee for 
the 125th Anniversary of the Grand Lodge of 
Canada in the Province of Ontario 1979-80 and 
District Historian and Librarian from 1980 to 
the present. 




W.Bro. Gordon Halloran* 

The land on which the Kingston Masonic 
Temple stands was first deeded, in 1822, to 
three citizens who held the land in trust for 
the Union Church Society. A frame church 
building was built on the land and served the 
needs of the Society until 1864. The 
congregation was comprised of 
Congregationalists, Baptists, Methodists and 
American Presbyterians. 

In 1864-1865, at 126 Wellington Street, 
the first Congregational Church was erected. 
The architect was John Power. It was of Gothic 
design and considered the most beautiful 
example of Gothic architecture in North 
America. To better comprehend the nature of 
the group constucting the building, the 
following excerpt is taken from Horsey 's 
History of Kingston: 

♦W.Bro. Halloran is a Past Master of the 
Ancient St. John's Lodge, and the Chairman of 
the Lodge Committee on Masonic Education. This 
brief history of the Kingston Masonic Temple 
was presented on the occasion of the Regular 
meeting of The Heritage Lodge held in the 
Temple on Saturday afternoon, May 18, 1985. 


"Congregationalism had its 
origin in England during the 
period of religious ferment in 
the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 
Its adherents became known as 
'INDEPENDENTS', asserting the 
independence of the individual 
congregation; as distinguished 
PRESBYTERIANS. The church body 
was made-up of local 
christians; united in 
fellowship and, electing its 
own ministers and administering 
its own discipline by popular 
vote, with no interference 
except by fraternal council, 
from any other ecclesiastical 
body. Possibly no religious 
movement made a deeper 
impression on the Protestant 
population of the English 
speaking world." 

In 1891, the church building was 
partially destroyed by fire, but it was 
immediately rebuilt. The architect for the 
rebuilding was J.B Reid, and the superintendent 
was Arthur Ellis. At the time of rebuilding, 
the main body of the church was enlarged by 
adding transepts with beautiful stained glass 
windows in the north and south walls. A new 
pipe organ was also installed at this time. 
The interior was finely finished, the seats 
being of birch with mahogany trim, all 
cushioned in crimson plush, and Brussels carpet 
of the same crimson shade covered the entire 
floor of the sanctuary. All appointments were 
complete, even to a 'perophone' in the pulpit, 


which could be connected with any seat for use 
of the hard of hearing. 

Sections of the hand sewn, red crimson 
carpet can still be seen in the main sanctuary 
and entry, and with good care will serve the 
masons for many years. Examples of the sturdy 
birch pews can be seen in the N.E. corner on 
the dias. 

The beautiful pipe organ, a traction 
model , has been pronounced one of the best 
examples of a pure Bach Organ in the country. 
The inscription on the plate reads H S.R. WARREN 
& SON, TORONTO" and the label shows: 

The brass chandelier in the centre of the 
sanctuary can be raised and lowered; it must 
have been a gas light before the time of 
electricity, and was rated as '42 candle power* 
since there are six clusters of seven candles 
symetrically arranged around the outer 
circumference . 

Another important highlight that can be 
appreciated only from the interior of the 
sanctuary is the colourful stained glass window 
in the north wall measuring about 12 feet in 
width and 20 feet in height. It was installed 
in loving memory of Peter Robertson Henderson, 
who died 24th June, 1895 and Henrietta June 
Henderson, who died 20th December, 1896, 
depicting that beautiful Christmas scene of 
Mary and Joseph with the child Jesus at 
Jerusalem, according to the law of the land, 
offering a sacrifice to the Lord of "a pair of 
turtle doves or two young pigeons". The 
inscription is taken from the second chapter 
Saint Luke, verses 28 and 29: 


Then took he Him up in his 
arms, and blessed God, and said 
Lord, now lettest thou thy 
servant depart inpeace , 
according to thy word. 

There is another completed stained glass 
window in the south wall and can be observed 
when ascending the stairs to the upper banquet 
halls. The theme is FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY. 

The building was acquired by the Masonic 
Bodies of Kingston in 1923, after a sale 
transacted by the last minister, Rev. R.J. 
Wilson. The interior of the church proper was 
remodelled, resulting in the magnificent lodge 
room now in use. 

On Tuesday evening, 18th February, 1947, 
shortly after 10:30 p.m. , a disastrous fire, 
believed to have originated in the attic above 
the banquet hall, swept through the west wing 
of the temple building causing damages 
estimated at about $40,000. Firefighters 
battled the blazing inferno with eight hose 
lines and the aerial ladder for 2 hours before 
bringing it under control. Many feared the 
fire would spread through into the main lodge 
hall. Anxius eyes were cast on the huge $2,500 
organ, thought by many to be the finest in the 
city. The Kingston Whig -Standard went on to 
explain that earlier in the evening "members of 
the Minden Lodge had been decorating the 
banquet room with aluminum foil. In the past 6 
months close to $10,000 had been spent on 
redecorating and reshingling the building. The 
value of the whole structure was placed at 


close to $175,000. Fortunately, the main 
artery of the building, which housed the main 
lodge hall of the structure was undamaged. 
Needless to say the next day's edition of the 
Kingston Whig -Standard carried the following 
announcement : - 


Minden Lodgee's 24th annual 'At 
Home ' , scheduled for tonight at 
the Masonic Temple, has been 
cancelled until further notice. 

Among the lodges housed in the time- 
honored temple on the corner of Wellington and 
Johnson Streets were: Ancient St. John's No. 3, 
Cataraqui No. 92, Minden No. 253, Queens No. 
578, Royal Edward No. 585, the Frontenac 
Chapter, and the Hugh de Payens Preceptory. 

After the fire of 1947, the building was 
rebuilt as we find it today. The 
responsibility for the reconstruction was 
placed upon the members of the Kingston Masonic 
Board of Trustees, who were elected from the 
various masonic bodies that used the Temple. 
To them we owe a debt of gratitude for the 
opportunity of meeting on this occasion in this 
magnificent ediface. 




W. Bro. Charles E. Pearson 

I believe it is necessary to begin with a 
short history of the life of John Macdonald to 
understand how he attained a level of such 
magnitude as to be unsurpassed in the history 
of Canada. 

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 
January 10, 1815 (1) . He with his mother, a 
younger brother James, two sisters Margaret and 
Louisa, and father Hugh immigrated to Canada in 
1820, arriving in Kingston in July of that 
year. His mother, Helen, had relatives in 
Kingston which, at that time, was the most 
important town in Upper Canada. The city 
offered inducements in the form of one of the 
strongest fortresses in Canada, excellent 
schools, and churches, and other social graces 
not found in other parts of Upper Canada. 

John started school at the age of seven, 
later attended school in a log cabin at 
Ado lphus town and eventually returned to 
Kingston to continue his education which ended 
at age 15. 

His mother and father decided he was to 
beome a lawyer and since no law schools existed 
then, he became in 1830, an articled student 
with a prominent Kingston lawyer, George 

He worked in the office all day and 
studied law at night. Fortunately for 
Macdonald, with his love of reading and his 


ambition to do better than his father, who had 
failed in business at least three tines, he 
showed a natural aptitude for law. At the age 
of 17 he was managing a law office in Napanee 
and at 18 he ran the office of a cousin in the 
settlement of Hallowel - now Picton. But he 
wanted more than this. 

In 1834, when he was 19, a cholera 
epidemic devastated Kingston and his old 
teacher, George Mackenzie died as a result. 
John decided he was going to be his successor. 

At the age of 21 , he passed the exams for 
barrister -at -law, opened his own law office and 
took in two law students - Oliver Mowat and 
Alexander Campbell; a law office which now 
contained a future Prime Minister, premier of 
Ontario and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. 

By age 25, in 1843, he was a very 
successful and highly respected citizen of 
Kingston, - a member of St. Andrew's 
Presbyterian Church, the Young Men's Socety, 
the St. Andrew's Society and the Celtic 
Society. But he still was not satisfied - he 
asked a friend - a prominent Orangeman in 
Kingston, what he could do to become popular. 
He was told to "join the Orange Lodge and 
become an alderman . " Before the end of the 
year Macdonald was both, and thus began his 
rise to leadership of his adopted country. 

It is probable that his entry into 
Masonry was prompted by this same desire to be 
popular, for many of the best known merchants, 
military and church leaders of the community 
were masons as were many of the provincial 
legislators. It was not uncommon, at the time, 
for masonic meetings to be reported in the 
local newspapers . It is also probable that 


In masonry he saw another source of knowledge 
to explore. 

Thus on March 14, 1844, John Macdonald 
was initiated into Masonry in St. John's Lodge 
#5 Kingston - acting under the Certificate 
of the United Grand Lodge of England at St. 
John's #491, Kingston, Canada Nest. 

St. John's lodge had just re-opened 
during the previous December, having ceased 
working in 1834 - "When it was thought prudent 
by the W.M. and members, to cease working until 
such time as the lodge could be beneficially 
worked - with advantage to the Craft and the 
World at large" - after a period of nine years, 
owing to the Morgan Incident. 

John Macdonald was one of twenty-eight 
new members to join St. John's Lodge, along 
with 46 masons who affiliated, during 1844. 
He was neither the youngest nor the oldest of 
the 28, nor was he the only one to have a 
distinguished career awaiting him. One, Henry 
Smith, initiated also on March 14th became 
Solicitor-General for Upper Canada from 1854- 
58 and like Macdonald was knighted. Also 
the Rev. William A. Adamson became Chaplain of 
the Legislative Council of Canada. 

John Macdonald was passed to the 2nd 
degree on April 22, raised on June 27, 1844. 
There is no evidence of taking an active part 
in St. John's lodge but he remained a member 
until his death. 

On February 3, 1845, he was awarded the 
Honorary degree of Mark Master Mason by St. 
George's Lodge of Montreal. On February 24, 
1848 he was exalted as a Royal Arch Mason in 
Victoria Chapter #643 of Montreal, at 


Kingston (5) . 

On April 10, 1848, he became a member of 
the Mystic Knights Templar, Chapter 491, the 
Ancient Frontenac Chapter and a month later, on 
June 14th, became a member of the Hugh de 
Payans Encampment at Kingston . 

On July 23, 1875 he affiliated with 
Zetland Lodge #326 Toronto and demit ted on May 
9, 1884. He was made a life member of Civil 
Service, Lodge No. 148, Ottawa in 1888 and 
became an Honorary Life Member of Lafayette 
R.A. Chapter #5 Washinton, D.C. 

John Macdonald entered Provincial 
politics in 1844 and for 47 years politics took 
up much of his time . He became a government 
minister in 1847 and here it seems impossible 
to separate his involvement in politics and 
masonry. During the time of his parliamentary 
career in Toronto, he was in constant contact 
and conflict with Sir Alan MacNab, an old 
fashioned Tory and also a mason, who considered 
Macdonald an upstart. 

In 1842, MacNab, while still only a 
Fel lower aft was granted a P.G.M. under the 
Scottish Constitution and in 1844 was granted a 
patent as P.G.M. from Grand Lodge of 
England . Strangely, MacNab did not reveal 
his patents at the time nor did he actively 
prosecute his position. In the same manner his 
leadership of the government of Canada Nest was 
sadly lacking - to such an extent that John 
Macdonald was looked on as the actual leader of 
the party in the province of Ontario. 

Here we can see how his political life 
was to influence his masonic activities in the 
future. All during the 1840' s and 50* s right 


up to Confederation, Macdonald was the leader, 
the chief negotiator, the conciliator, and yes, 
even the bully of parliament in both Canada 
West and Canada East He convinced everyone 
that the country must remain loyal to Britain 
and not allow itself to be annexed to the 
U.S.A. He was able to see that there could 
only be a united Canada with the inclusion of 
French Canada and in this, formed a union with 
George Etienne Cartier which lasted until 
Cartier's death in 1873. (This is the 
historical fact behind the official name of 
highway 401 ) . He was convinced that Canada 
must have its own government and yet must not 
cut off its ties with Britain. 

Surely this must have had much to do with 
his acceptance, later on, as representative of 
Grand Lodge of England and also why he was 
chosen for the honour. Confederation was not 
an easy forgone affair, but a long hard 
struggle that would have stopped a man with 
less ambition. His home life was no less a 
struggle, with his first wife in constant ill 
health, and the loss of their first son only a 
year after his birth. Macdonald did not give 
up on either count but showed a strength of 
character with which few men are blessed. And 
if he did take solace occasionally in drink, 
his mind was not befuddled by the after 
effects, in fact, it seems he became sharper 
witted as a result. 

In 1860, H.R.H. The Prince of Males later 
to become King Edward VII was to lay the corner 
stone of the new Parliament Buildings in 
Ottawa (10) . T.D. Harrington who was then G.M. 
wrote to Bro. John A. Macdonald the Attorney 
General of Canada asking if the Freemasons 
would be invited to assist. Macdonald 
acknowledged the letter and promised to attend 


to the matter. The Governor General approved 
of the presence of the craft but felt it 
necessary to consult the Prince, who was not a 
member of the Order. This was no great problem 
but as matters turned out even though the G.M. 
was assured up to the last moment, the craft 
was not officially represented at the laying of 
the corner stone. 

Unfortunately, a leter appeared in the 

Freemason's magazine published in London to the 

effect that the craft has been slighted and the 
G.M. snubbed. 

In February 1861, Macdonald wrote a 
letter to the G.M. expressing his regrets at 
the contents of the letter and assuring him 
that such was not the case, that the Parliament 
of Canada held the craft in deep respect. This 
letter was jointly signed by John A. Macdonald, 
the Attorney General and John Rose the 
Commissioner of Public Works. 

For his part in bringing about 
Confederation he was awarded the K.C.B. in 1867 
and thereafter was known as Sir John Alexander 
Macdonald . 

Sir John now became Canada's first Prime 
Minister and now his masonic involvement began. 
While Upper Canada had its own Grand Lodge 
there were lodges in Ontario and Quebec who 
still held warrants under Provincial Grand 
Lodge of England. Very soon after 
Confederation he received his warrant from 
Grand Lodge of England which states in 
part (11) :. 

"As chairman of the recent Conference of 
Delegates from British North America on the 
measure of Confederation do hereby nominate. 


constitute and appoint him our representative." 

In July 1868, the 13th Annual 
Communication of Grand Lodge in Ontario was 
held in London, Ontario. R.W. Sir John A. 
Macdonald, Canada's foremost statesman, 
honoured the meeting with his presence and 
presented his appointments as Representative of 
the United Grand Lodge of England. He was 
received with Grand Honours and the rank of 
P.G. Senior Warden was confered upon him. 

The first of his masonic problems was 
with his regalia. It appears that Grand Lodge 
of England was providing him with an apron, 
collar and jewel - his predecessor - a Bro. 
Stephens, also sent his regalia to Sir John by 
way of the secretary of Grand Lodge of Canada. 
Sir John had to request that the secretary 
return these to Bro. Stephens, no small matter 
at that time, because Stephens now resided in 
Britain . 

About a year later Sir John received a 


draft from London, England on Gore Bank, 
Hamilton, Ontario for the sum of 10.2.7 which 
was probably to pay for his regalia. This 
apron, collar and warrant now hang in the 
Masonic Temple * Kingston. 

While Nova Scotia and New Brunswick had 
their own Grand Lodges, those in Quebec were 
still under Grand Lodge of England or Grand 
Lodge of Canada in Ontario and feelings were 
beginning to run high by some Quebec Lodges 
that they wanted to control themselves. 
Communications between Grand Lodge of Canada, 
Grand Lodge of England, and Sir John with 
charges and counter -charges being stated made 
the situation almost parallel to the problems 
leading to Confederation. Sir John could only 


state that he had no authority to demand 
anything from the lodge. Grand Lodge of 
England stated that they had no desire to hold 
anyone under their authority and that if the 
lodges so desired they could form their own 
Grand Lodge. 

On October 20, 1869, a petition from the 
brethren of two Quebec lodges Albion #17 and 
St. John's #182, was sent to G.M. of Grand 
Lodge of England stating their intentions to 
form the grand Lodge of Quebec stating as their 
main point of contention, M on account of the 
separate Political existance of the Province of 
Quebec." About the same time a report was 
printed in the Montreal Daily news that a 
"large and influential body of masons in P.Q. 
were contemplating the establishment of their 
own Grand Lodge . " 

In January 1870, the Gr. Secretary 
printed a notice to inform all interested 
parties of those lodges which now declared 
allegiance to Grand Lodge Quebec. But all was 
not yet settled, as in March, Sir John received 
a request from a brother of St. George's Lodge 
#440 E.R. The lodge decided to remain under 
English Registry - The Master wanted to go with 
Grand Lodge of Quebec and held all books and 
records. Sir John was requested to interfere 
in this and other such instances, and also to 
grant dispensations to others. This, he 
replied, he had no authority to do. 

About this time Sir John was to come down 
with a serious illness and the next 
correspondence is January 10, 1871 from General 
Secretary of Grand Lodge Quebec - John H. 
Isaacson. First he expressed fraternal regards 
to Sir John and congratulations on his 
restoration to good health and strength and 


this on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Quebec 
informing him officially, in his capacity as 
Grand representatives of United Grand Lodge of 
England, that on October 20, 1869, Grand Lodge 
of Quebec was duly and constitutionally formed 
and that having given him time to recover from 
his dangerous illness, they would be pleased if 
he would make sure that Grand Lodge of England 
and the Grand Master would grant a speedy 
recognition and establishment of fraternal 
communications with Grand Lodge of Quebec, 
this being essential to the peace, unity, 
harmony and prosperity of the Craft in Quebec 
and throughout the Dominion. 

Sir John's reply dated January 20, 1971 
states that he is only Representative of the 
M.W. The Grand Lodge of England in Grand Lodge 
of Canada. Shortly thereafter, he communicated 
with John Harvey, General Secretary of Grand 
Lodge of England. On March 23, 1871, he 
received a reply from England in which he was 
informed that Lord Carnarvon, deputy G.M. 
Lord de Grey being in Washington D.C. approved 
of Sir John's answer to Bro. Isaacson. Thus 
authorities in Britain were at a loss to 
understand why the brethern in Quebec 
approached Sir John as he was solely accredited 
to Grand Lodge of Canada. 

The letter also stated that Grand Lodge 
of England was not concerned as to who had 
authority over Freemasons in Quebec and that 
they should maintain relations with Grand Lodge 
of Canada until their differences could be 
settled. Under the circumstances they had no 
desire to interfere. Since some mediation must 
be interposed by which the difficulty could be 
healed would Sir John consider bringing his 
powerful influences to bear to this end? The 
letter also reiterates that in his position 


they do not feel that Sir John should enter 
into official correspondence with the Quebec 
brethern who at present cannot be considered as 
a regular Grand Lodge. 

April 31, 1871 Sir John Prom Washington 
D.C. addressed a letter to the W.M. of 
Dalhousie Lodge in Ottawa, informing him that 
the G.M. Earl de Grey and Ripon would be unable 
to visit Ottawa at the time. 

June 9, 1871, a letter to General 
Secretary of Grand Lodge of England 
acknowledging receipt of certain resolutions to 
be sent to Grand Lodge of Canada and on the 
same day a letter to A. Stephenson G.M. of 
Grand Lodge of Canada enclosing the resolutions 
from England. There is no indication as to 
what these resolutions could be. 

On June 15, 1871, Sir John received a 
letter from John Hervey, General Secretary from 
Freemason's Hall, London, regarding the 
petition from Albion Lodge #17 and St. John's 
#182, Grand Lodge of Quebec dated October 20, 

The letter asked for Sir John's opinion 
of the subject and stated that had the brethern 
joined Grand Lodge of Canada, their request 
could have been granted without difficulty. 
But since they had joined a body, Grand Lodge 
of Quebec, with which Grand Lodge of England 
had no relations, they were uncertain as to 
their course of action and would Sir John 
please advise on the subject. 

September 7, 1871, Sir John received a 
communication from Lafayette Royal Arch Chapter 
#5, Washington, D.C. informing him that he had 
been unanimously elected a life member of the 


chapter . 

September 13, 1871, Sir John sent his 
thanks on receiving this honour. He must have 
returned the letter of announcement for on 
September 26th he received another letter from 
Lafayette Chapter apologizing for neglecting to 
add his name and official masonic titles on the 
sheet, along with the official letter which had 
the mistake rectified. 

November 9, 1871, once more Sir John 
received a letter from the General Secretary 
Grand Lodge of England regarding the Quebec 
situation. The secretary stated that the Grand 
Master had received repeated requests for 
recognition from Grand Lodge of Quebec but 
could not grant the request while they, in 
Quebec, seemed to be at odds with any 
recognized Grand Body. But if these 
differences were now settled, recognition 
should not be delayed further. 

December 7, 1871, Sir John received a 
letter from the General Secretary of Grand 
Lodge of Canada, informing him that the Grand 
Master has stated that the so-called Grand 
Lodge of Quebec had not been recognized, nor 
was it likely to be, for some time to come. 
The Grand Master would shortly be addressing 
him more fully on the unhappy condition of 
masonry in Quebec, so that he could better 
inform the Grand Master of Grand Lodge of 
England. On the same date December 7, 1871, 
Sir John wrote to John Hervey, General 
Secretary - Grand Lodge of England, informing 
him of events and enclosing a copy of a letter 
he received from the Grand Master of Grand 
Lodge of Canada. 

July 2, 1872, Sir John wrote a letter to 


R.W. Bro. Harris, General Secretary, Grand 
Lodge Canada enclosing a letter from General 
Secretary, Grand Lodge of England regarding the 
suspension of Bro. Geo. Smith by the Dalhousie 
Lodge of Ottawa. On the same day he replied to 
R.W. Bro. Hervey Grand Lodge of England 
acknowledging receipt of his letter, and 
stating it was an inopportune time for 
Dalhousie Lodge to withdraw from Grand Lodge of 
England and affiliate with Grand Lodge of 
Canada and of the reversal of sentence against 
Bro. Smith by the Grand Master. The reason for 
the suspension was not stated. 

August 10, 1872, Sir John wrote to 
General Secretary, Grand Lodge of Canada 
enclosing the answer he had received from the 
Home Secretary to the late Governor General on 
the occasion of his presenting the address of 
the Grand Lodge of Canada to her majesty, the 
Queen, congratulating her Majesty on the 
recovery of the Prince of Males from his 
serious illness. 

December 17, 1872, a letter of 
introduction to John Hervey, Grand Lodge of 
England of V.W. Bro. Bernard, Past Grand Master 
of Grand Lodge of Canada, requesting any 
assistance and fraternal kindness during his 
visit to Britain. 

The year 1874, July 17th, once more from 
Freemasons Hall, London, a request for official 
information from Grand Lodge Canada regarding 
Grand Lodge of Quebec, and whether differences 
are amicably adjusted and recognition bestowed 
on that body. 

October 7, 1874, Sir John received 
another letter from London, stating that no 
reply had been received for the above letter, 


would he be kind enough to answer immediately. 
The letter also informed him of the resignation 
of the Marquis of Ripon as Grand Master and the 
acceptance of the position by the Prince of 

October 13, 1874, another letter from 
John Hervey acknowledging receipt of a letter 
from Sir John, conveying to him a letter from 
the Grand Secretary Grand Lodge of Canada 
relative to the recognition of Grand Lodge of 
Quebec. He also apologized for the trouble 
caused in thinking that his previous letter may 
have "miscarried" and sorry that the delay was 
caused by so melancholy a cause.??? 

The letter from Sir John had informed 
John Hervey that an amicable settlement had 
been made between the Grand Lodge of Canada and 
Grand Lodge of Quebec, and that this 
announcement had been made at the Annual 
Communication of Grand Lodge of Canada in July, 
much to the joy of all concerned. 

March 23, 1878, Sir John received a 
letter from Winnipeg, accompanied by a petition 
and application to Grand Lodge of England 
requesting a charter or warrant for the 
formation of a new Lodge, requesting that he 
forward the same to England for a favourable 
consideration. The new lodge to be known as 
"Northern Light" Lodge. The reason given for 
the application was that the work in Grand 
Lodge of Manitoba was "altogether American" and 
not to the liking of the signing brethern, 
because of their loyalty to the Crown. They 
were requesting a direct connection with the 
Grand Lodge of England. 

It seems this petition must have been 
misplaced, for on August 1st, Sir John received 


another letter from G. McMichen in Winnipeg 
asking if a new copy of the petition should be 
forwarded. A copy of the petition, dated 
February 25, 1878 and signed by 13 names is in 
the Public Archives in Ottawa. 

And now approaching 65, it appears that 
ill health and the exertions of his public life 
must have been taking their toll for there is 
no more correspondence regarding masonry in 
evidence and yet, he was still held in highest 
regard by the public as evident by the letter 
from an admirer who had picked up a chip of 
wood from the Premier's desk in the House of 
Commons, which she would treasure as a 
souvenier, but a more romantic reminder would 
be a pansy blossom from the bouquet worn at 
last nights recital and his autograph. 

Even as late as May 1891, he received a 
letter from an old gentleman who had supported 
the Tories for 41 years. During the last 
election campaign, fighting the Grits on behalf 
of his local member, had the misfortune to lose 
his spectacles. From his letter I quote, "I 
should look on it as a great favour, if you 
would kindly send me a pair. I am 73 years old 
and still ready for the fray." 

In a note to his secretary Sir John wrote 

My dear Pope - I wish that none 

of my consituents would ever 

make greater demands on the 

party than this old man. He 

deserves a pair of specs and I 

must see that he gets a pair. 

Sir John died on Saturday, June 6, 1891. 
On June 12, after an estimated 20,000 people 
had passed the bier in Kingston City Hall, a 
funeral procession viewed by 40,000 people from 


all parts of Canada proceeded to Cataraqui 
Cemetery. Under the mar shall ship of James 
Greenfield of Toronto, Masons, 350 strong, from 
Kingston and many Eastern Ontario Lodges 
accompanied by members of other fraternal 
organizations joined the solemn procession. It 
took 16 minutes for them to pass walking four 
abreast . 

On June 25, 1891, an emergent meeting was 
held by St. John's Lodge to present a letter of 
Condolence, suitably engraved, and this was 
forwarded to Lady Ma cd on a Id. This also hangs 
in the anteroom of the Kingston Masonic Temple. 

There are, unfortunately, many gaps in 
this account due in part to completely 
illegible documents, not from the writing, but 
from the ink which has faded. Sir John was 
ever noted as a neat writer even in his school 
days when his work was held as an example to 
classmates. His last letters were no less easy 
to read. 

His personal letters are many but from 
those in the Public Archives of Canada I have 
been unable to find none with any Masonic 
references. I might note that I counted 
something over 40 letters written and received 
in one day in 1880 's, all of these in 
Macdonald's handwriting. 


1. MacDonald - The Man and the Politician, 
P. A. Swainson, Douglas Library, Queens 


2. Historic Kingston, Kingston Historical 
Society, Kingston Public Library. 

3. Records of the Ancient St. John's Lodge 
No. 3, G.R.C.; and Public Archives of 
Canada, Magazine Group (MG26A). 

4. Whence Come We, Wallace E. McLeod, 
Chairman of Editorial Committee, Grand 
Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the 
Province of Ontario, p. 257. 

5. Public Archives of Canada, M G.26 p. 258 

6. Public Archives of Canada, M.G.26 p. 258 

7. Refer to No.l 

8. History of grand Lodge, 1855-1955, 
Herrington and Foley, p. 23. 

9. Refer to No.l 

10. History of Grand Lodge, 1855-1955, 
Herrington and Foley, p. 84-91. 

11. Warrant in Masonic Temple, Kingston, Ontario 

12. History of Grand Lodge, 1855-1955, 
Herrington and Foley, p. 103. 

13. Public Archives of Canada, M.G. 26A, all 
subsequently dated letters from the same 
source . 

14. The Daily British Whig, June 12, 1891; 
reprinted June 7, 1984, in the Kingston 
Whig Standard on the occasion of the 
Newspaper's 150th Anniversary. 




Donald Fleming 

The following is the Editors 
interpretation of an informal presentation by 
the Honourable Donald Fleming at the Regular 
Meeting of The Heritage Lodge No. 730, held in 
the Masonic Temple in Kingston Ontario, 
Saturday afternoon, May 18, 1985. Brother 
Fleming, who had celebrated his 80th birthday, 
was just recovering from hip surgery. 
Nevertheless, from the warm affections shown by 
our Worshipful Master, R.W.Bro. Ed. Drew, Bro. 
Fleming could not let him down at the last 
minute. Furthermore he considered it an honour 
to address The Heritage Lodge where he felt 
comfortable amongst warm friends. He commended 
the Lodge on its research activities and as a 
Professor of History he found the subject of 
Masonic History fascinating. He stressed the 
importance of urging students to know the 
history of their country. 

He commended Brother Pearson for his 
paper on Sir John Alexander Macdonald which had 
all the earmarks of an objective effort. One 
of the major difficulties of masonic historians 
is the sad dearth of information on the 
subject. Of the three major biographies of Sir 
John A. Macdonald, there is no single trace of 
reference to Freemasonry. The study shared 
with us to-day could not have been brought to 
light except by someone working in the Kingston 
area, and having access to the Public Archives 
on Prime Ministers, therefore everyone to-day 
must feel indebted to Bro. Pearson for his 
contribution to masonic research. 


If stripped of all honours and politics, 
just what kind of man was John Alexander 
Hacdonald. It could be dangerous to turn one 
loose on a renouned politician and on such a 
subject as this. The Honourable Garfield Todd, 
Premier of the Province of Southern Rodesia was 
faced with a large population of blacks, and a 
smattering of European entrepreneurs creating a 
mult i -cultural society. Todd was looked upon 
in Britain as the great white hope in Africa; 
but he was eventually dumped on the scrap heap 
and it took a long time before Britain finally 
granted Rodesia its independance . In a 
personal letter to Donald Fleming, Premier Todd 
related the following humorous story as a 
summary to his missionary work in Africa: When 
Garfield Todd and Mrs. Carlson arrived at the 
Heavenly gates, they were greeted by St. Peter 
who asked each of them to give an account of 
their accomplishments on earth. After Mrs. 
Carlson had explained how she had organized 
appropriate events for the African children in 
her charge; St. Peter was apparently satisfied 
and allowed her to enter. However, when 
Garfield Todd, in responding to the same 
question, proceeded to describe his work as a 
missionary in Africa he unconsciously commenced 
his discourse with "Mr. Speaker Sir N , whereupon 
St. Peter interrupted exclaiming: "Oh! Oh! a 
politician". . ."You must therefore first serve a 
period of probation". 

The story of John Alexander Macdonald 
begins with his birth on January 11,1815, in 
Glasgow, Scotland. Five years later his 
father, after having failed in business, 
resolved to try his fortunes in the New World. 
Accordingly, he sailed for Canada and with his 
wife and four children arrived at Quebec and 


then journeyed overland to Kingston. The 
senior Macdonald was equally unsuccessful in 
the new land as he failed as a merchant in a 
place called Hay Bay in Lennox county and again 
when he migrated across the Bay of Quinte to 
start a grist-mill in a locality then known as 
Stone Mills. It was just before the last move 
that John, who was then about 10 years of age, 
returned to Kingston where he attended grammer 
school; he was a voracious reader and became a 
self-made man through his own efforts. At the 
age of 15 John Macdonald entered upon the study 
of law in the office of Mr. George Mackenzie, a 
close friend of his father. George Mackenzie 
died during the cholera epidemic in 1834. Two 
years later John A. Macdonald passed his exams 
for barister-at-law and opened his own office 
in Kingston. During that first year, the young 
Oliver Mowat entered Macdonald' s office as a 
student and studied law for four years. About 
the same time, Alexander Campbell who, having 
commenced his studies with Mr. Cassidy and 
after that gentleman's death, completed them 
with Mr. Macdonald. Some years later, the 
principal is Prime Minister of Canada, one of 
his students is Lieutenant Governor of the 
Province of Ontario, the other his chief 
adviser, and all three decorated by Her Majesty 
for distinguished services to the State. It is 
doubtful whether the records of the British 
Empire could furnish a parallel to this 
extraordinary coincidence. 

Brother Fleming then reminisced about 
some of his own links with the 'Old Chief tan * ; 
making mention of a leading portrait of Sir 
John wearing his ever familiar red tie, and he 
related how many an aspiring politician would 
have his picture taken under the Macdonald 
portrait . 


Another nostalgic flashback concerned a 
very large desk with an inlaid green top, which 
had been the desk of Sir John A. Macdonald. It 
was of great historical significance to Donald 
Fleming who never allowed its removal for the 
more than 5 years that he occupied the office 
in the Parliament Building. 

A portrait of John A. Macdonald had been 
in the family for many years, but back about 
1880 the picture had suffered a damaging crack 
right across the face of the portrait. On 
viewing the damaged portrait, Karsh, the 
photographic genius, offered to repair it; the 
restoration was so skillful that there is not 
even the remotest trace of a crack. 

Reference was made to a visit, earlier in 
the day, to Bellevue House, once the residence 
of Sir John A. Macdonald; a substantial Italian 
Villa in the suburbs of Kingston. However, his 
official residence in the nations capital was 
erected high on a crest overlooking the Ottawa 
river about three quarters of a mile downstream 
from the Parliament Buildings. It is now the 
residence of the British High Commissioner. 
Brother Fleming, reflecting for a moment, then 
said "it was a shame to let it go, it should 
have been preserved under Canadian ownership. 

Sir John A. Macdonald was to 
Confederation what Hiram Abif was to King 
Solomon's temple. This was a most significant 
achievement by any standard the World over. 
And then there was George Brown, the antagonism 
between Brown and Macdonald is beyond our 
comprehension. The public to-day has no idea 
of the rift between these two men, but they 
united their forces, worked together and 


brought about Confederation; after which they 
resumed their antagonism and never spoke to 
each other again. 

One must claim Macdonald as the father of 
his Country. The Americans claim George 
Washington as the father of their country, and 
you would think his entire life was devoted to 
Masonry. But you ask many Canadians and they 
have no knowledge of his activities in Masonry. 
The public must be informed; we must be proud 
of Masonry's contribution to our historical 

Macdonalds best statement, in which he 
dealt a hefty blow to the great american 
sentiment, was made in his last address to the 
people of Canada; February 7, 1891. 

"As for myself, my course is 
clear. A British subject I was 
born - a British subject I will 
die. With my utmost effort, 
with my latest breath, will I 
oppose the 'veiled treason* 
which attempts by sordid means 
and mercenary proffers to lure 
our people from their 
allegiance" . 

On that historic occasion, Brother 
Fleming's grandfather had managed by some means 
to climb into the hall to hear that historic 

John Macdonald had a weakness for 
alcohol, but he was conscious of his own 
shortcomings. He did not smoke, was a light 
eater but he did resort to the bottle. His 
weakness was the subject of many attacks by the 


public. Macdonald was beset by many problems 
which exacted great duresse and caused him 
severe stress and pain. The accidental death 
of his eldest son, who was killed by a fall 
when only two years of age; a mother whose 
delicate health gave him constant anxiety; the 
death of his first wife, who soon after their 
marriage became a confirmed invalid; and the 
temporary estrangement of his second son all 
combined to make Macdonalds* early domestic 
life more than usually full of care and sorrow. 

John A. Macdonald, as a Mason, was active 
in the Craft, as W.Bro. Pearson has already 
indicated, but he was never a worshipful 
master. As a man and a politician he was free 
of resentment and he never harboured ill will. 
He was an effective debator but not a great 
orator. he was never cruel and entirely free 
of cynicism. Not many politicians can make 
these claims to-day. Joseph Pope , his 
personal secretary, had this to say of 
Macdonald 1 s faith: 

"He was a firm believer in the truths of 
Christianity. Though, from the very nature of 
his duties, he was more than ordinarily 
absorbed in the cares of this world, he was 
regular in his attendance at divine service, 
and always found time personally to conduct 
family worship. He usually attended the Church 

♦Memoirs of the Right Honourable Sir John 
Alexander Macdonald by Sir Joseph Pope. 


of England with Lady Macdonald, but, he cared 
little for external forms of worship, and was 
at all times ready to accept the ministrations 
of the Presbyterian and Methodist Churches. 
He was in full sympathy with the objects of the 
Salvation Army, for which organization he had 
always a kind word, and oft times something 

On the first day of his seventy-fourth 
year, he received a poetic tribute from his 
friend Mr. J. B. Plumb, then speaker of the 
Senate, from which the last verse is hereby 

"Long may your honoured years increase, 
Crowned with prosperity and peace 
With heartfelt joy this day we hail, 
Best wishes speed by wire and rail, 
While Britain s flag on sea and shore 
Salutes our staunch old seventy-four". 

Sir John A. Macdonald quietly passed away 
at a quarter -past ten, on the evening of 
Saturday the 6th day of June, 1891. His death 
evoked a sorrowful House of Commons. While 
making the official announcement in the House, 
on June 8th, the Speaker was unable to continue 
as he said "my heart is full of tears I cannot 
proceed further . " 

Young Wilfred Laurier, leader of the 
opposition, paid this tribute in the speech 
that was made on the occasion of the death of 
the Prime Minister: 

"Canada's most illustious son, 
and in every sense Canada's 
for mo st citizen and 
statesman. who, above all, 


was the father of 
Confederation , " 

Included amongst the hundreds of 
individual sympathies to Lady Macdonald was a 
letter full of gracious sympathy, from Her 
Majesty, Queen Victoria, which only one who had 
experienced the like affliction could feel. 
Her Majesty, in recognition of Macdonald *s 
distinguished services to the Empire, was 
pleased to grant to Lady Macdonald the dignity 
of a Peeress of the United Kingdom, with the 
title of Baroness Macdonald of Earnscliffe. 

Among the many tributes to Sir John A. 
Macdonald 's memory is one from a long time 
friend, Mr. Gustavus Wicksteed: 

"In death's cold arms our country's father lies 

When shall his equal glad her longing eyes?" 
"By distance parted when her people were, 
Estranged and separate, scattered here and 
there , 

He, by a compact firm and wisely planned, 
Gave them for country all Canadian land. 
And stretched o'er mountain steep and prairie 
broad , 
For friendly intercourse, an iron road". 

"Long with consumate statesmanship he swayed 
The councils of the nation he hath made, 
Contended for the right with tongue and pen, 
And won by kindly deeds with tongue of men; 
And old-time friends and old opponents vied 
In patriot sorrow when Macdonald died". 




R.W.Bro. David C. Bradley 

In thanking the two speakers (W.Bro. 
Charles Pearson and R.W.Bro. Donald Fleming), 
R.W.Bro. Bradley was reminded of the several 
references to the Institutions in the fair city 
of Kingston and that he was now more fully 
informed and in a better position to enlighten 
his Toronto Brethren of the difference between 
the two. He humorously continued by 
complimenting the efficiency of the Fire 
Department by being able to put out a fire in 
the bathroom before it reached the house. 

However, in a more serious vein and on 
behalf of members and visitors of The Heritage 
Lodge, Brother Bradley first complimented 
W.Bro. Hal lor an for his fine description and 
brief history of the beautiful Kingston masonic 
temple. With reference to the Pearson and 
Fleming papers, both speakers had marshalled 
their facts and integrated personal experiences 
to make excellent presentations. Brother 
Bradley thanked Charles Pearson for bringing to 
light Hacdonald ' s masonic career and Donald 
Fleming for fleshing out the political life of 
the great Canadian Statesman. 

This was indeed a story skillfully told 
by both speakers, and we are indeed grateful 
for the time, effort and research they expended 
on our behalf. Brother Bradley concluded with 
a sincere heartfelt thank you which was 
unanimously supported by the applause of the 
Bret hern . 




R.W.Bro. David C. Bradley 

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. As 

your chairman this evening, we welcome you to 

another exciting happening about the life of 
the late Sir Allan HacNab. 

The objects of the Masonic Past Masters' 
Association of the Hamilton Districts are to 
promote, develop and improve the study of 
Freemasonry and all matters pertaining thereto 
by means of discussions, debates, essays, 
addresses, lectures or papers on Masonic 
Education or other subjects. 

One of the goals of the Heritage Lodge of 
Research is to develop and hear pucm research 
on Masonic Education or other subjects. 

R.W.Bro. Edmund Ralph, an officer of 
Heritage Lodge, and an historian at heart has 
been the catalyst for this evening and we 
publicly recognize his idea for such a 
happening and seeing it to its completion. 

In this the Bicentennial Year of Ontario 
we wanted to present a research paper on some 

♦The first 'Public Lecture* was sponsored by 
The Heritage Lodge No. 173, and the Hamilton 
Masonic Past Masters' Association. It was held 
in the MacNab Street Presbyterian Church Hall, 
116 MacNab St., S. , Hamilton, October 30, 1984. 


significant builder in Ontario's history, - 
someone who contributed to the cultural, social 
and political development, and who had Masonic 
roots as well. 

For historians' sake, this lead to four 
names - William Jarvis, Thomas Rideout, Kivas 
Tully and who better than on the 
sesquicentennial of the building of Hamilton's 
historic Dundurn Castle than Sir Allan MacNab, 
especially here in MacNab Street Presbyterian 
Church at a time of year when ghosts of his 
past bump in the night, especially the night 
before All Hallows Eve. A sincere thanks to 
Marilyn Soules, Curator of Dundurn Castle for 
sharing Sir Allan's oil picture with us this 

However, prior to introducing our distinguished 
guest researcher, it was felt that a brief 
overview of Sir Allan MacNab - masonically 
speaking, would be appropriated to this 


-was Initiated into masonry in St. Andrews' 
Lodge, Toronto, December 14, 1841 at the age of 
43 years. 

-passed to second degree in the Barton Lodge, 
Hamilton, January 12, 1842. 

-While still a Fellowcraft, was named 
Provincial Grand Master of Canada, under the 
Scottish Constitution - (August, 1842, while in 
Scotland taking part at the cornerstone laying 
of Victoria Hall, a building used for the 


General Assembly for the Church of Scotland). 

-raised to a Master Mason in St. Andrews' 
Lodge, Toronto, on December 29, 1842. 

-received his patent from the Grand Lodge of 
England as Provincial Grand Master for Canada 
West in 1844 on August 28. 

-thus the Third Provincial Grand Lodge was 
organized under his direction on August 9, 1845 
in Hamilton, which lasted until July 14 1858, 
when the Ancient Grand Lodge under MacNab and 
the Grand Lodge of Canada were united into the 
present Grand Lodge organization. 

MacNab 1 s position in the Craft was 
largely nominal, yet his position in political 
and social circles gave the Craft an honoured 
position in the province. 

Much controversy surrounded Sir Allan ' s 
death and burial in August 1862, when this 64 
year old Baron died from bilious fever. 
According to research his brother's widow, who 
had taken charge of his household after his 
wife's death in 1846 was a Roman Catholic, who 
at his death bed, claimed to have admitted a 
Roman bishop to administer baptism, 
confirmation and extreme unction as provided by 
the Church of Rome. - thus making a convert of 
a worshipper of 27 years at Christ Church 
Cathedral on James Street North, — who prior to 
its building had been a constant at tender at 
what is now St. Paul's Presbyterian Church. 

The August 12, 1862 edition of the 
Hamilton Spectator carries the account of 
MacNab 's burial in the family plot on the 
grounds of Oundurn on the previous day. — as the 


will had stated, between his two wives — under 
the direction of his sister-in-law who was the 
executrix of the will. 

Seventy-five years ago this past summer, 
(1909) when the City of Hamilton purchased 
Dundurn for a City Park, fifteen bodies buried 
in the MacNab plot were re-interred in Holy 
Sepulchre and Hamilton Cemetaries. 

In 1967, the Canadian Club of Hamilton, 
placed a memorial stone in Holy Sepulchre 
Cemetary, marking the resting place of Sir 
Allan and family members, and I read from a 
photo of it: 







A Brief Biographical Resume 

R.W.Bro. Wayne Elgie 

-his forebearers came to Hamilton from the 
Highlands of Scotland in the mid 1850's and the 
family name has remained here since. 


-his great grand parents had 11 children, and 
all had to wear kilts so, 

1) they would get into lots of fights, thus 
they would learn to hold their own 

2) they would not forget their heritage 
-Gaining a very solid inspirational education 
in the Hamilton Public School system, he 
graduated with a B.A. from McHaster in 1970, an 
M.A. from Carelton in 1971, and a Ph.D. from U 
of T. in 1979. 

-A specialist in Upper Canadian history, he is 
currently involved in preparing 

1 ) a biography on Robert Baldwin 

2) a book on law, society and politics in 
Upper Canada for the Osgoode Society. 

3) a History on the Hamilton area to 1846 

4) a History of the Argyll and Sutherland 
Highlanders , 

as well as being a member of the editorial 
board of Volume II of the dictionary of 
Hamilton Biography. Possibly he may even 
allude to another book which he will assist 
launching on next Thursday, November 8, 1984, 
at the Hamilton Convention Center. 

- Since 1976 he has been employed as the editor 
of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography - U. of 
T. , as well as a part-time professor at 
Victoria College, U of T. , and HcMaster. 

- He is married to a lovely lady, Barbara, and 
is the proud father of two adoring children - 
Catherine and Robert Lochiel IV. 

- With all this, how he finds time to enjoy 
jogging, hockey, and weight-lifting must 
require 12 day weeks with 32 hour days. 

-Dr. Praser will entertain discussion, dialogue 
or questions after his presentation. 
-I am honoured to present a husband, a father 
and a scholar renown, doing what he enjoys most 

- Historical Research. 


«l M# 



a new perspective on Sir Allan Napier HacNab 

Professor Dr. Robert L. Fraser 

When I was first asked to prepare a paper 
on Sir Allan Napier MacNab, I wondered about 
the suitability of the theme — MacNab as a 
'builder', a man who had made a significant 
contribution to Ontario or Canadian history. 
Certainly, I thought, he is Hamilton's foremost 
historical citizen, the one name almost anyone 
in the region could seize upon from its early 
history. Yet obviously that easy association 
has more to do with the presence of Dundurn 
Castle than MacNab 's impact on Canadian 

MacNab was a soldier, a lawyer, a 
businessman, and a politician; he was 
Hamilton's only premier /prime minister. But 
his historical reputation is such, and his 
tenure as leader of the Conservative party so 
brief, that a recent book on the pre- 
Confederation premiers omitted a chapter on 
him. Local historians have always had a 
fondness for Sir Allan and his exploits and 
cherished the various aspects of life. 
Professional historians have, however, usually 
consigned him to the periphery of public life. 
At best, they have regarded him as a 
figurehead, a symbolic leader of the political 
forces of early Canadian reaction: at worst, a 
caricature - a Highland Colonel Blimp, cursing 
with empty-headed vituperation the march of 



political progress. Others, who have taken 
him a trifle more seriously, portray him as a 
figure of coarse venality, a land speculator, 
railway promoter, and urban booster more 
interested in self-service than public service, 
whose only civic and public contributions were 
simply a by-product ' of unabashed greed and 
unbridled ambition. All-in-all, not a very 
flattering portrait of Hamilton's best -known, if 
not best-loved, historical figure. Only 
recently has MacNab been the subject of a full- 
length biography by a scholar. Although a 
warts-and-all account of his life, this new 
biography is the first sympathetic and 
revisionist treatment. Its focus is the roan 
and his times, not the man and his castle. 

It will be some time before this new 
account percolates down through the several 
levels of historical understanding. In the 
meantime, perhaps MacNab is an appropriate 
figure to represent a city derided for its 
tarnished image of dirty air, polluted water, 
working-class lunchbuckets, satanic steel 
mills, and hard-rock sports teams. In spite of 
my initial reservations about this topic, I am 
convinced that MacNab is no more deserving of 
his reputation, an affable Scottish buffoon, 
than Hamilton is of its. How then do we 
reassess this man? Where do we begin to 
restore the historical balance? 

Historians differ, and widely I might 
add, as to the most important elements of 
society, the causes of change, and the enduring 
influences. To my mind, the most significant 
feature of any society is its political culture 
by which I mean the basis of accord as to the 
fundamental direction and purposes of society. 
Canada is a constitutional monarchy whose 


polity has been distinguished by a minimum of 
political strife, especially of the violent 
nature, for almost 150 years. The combination 
of political stability with constitutionality 
and the rule of law is rather unique in this 
world. Canada is a peaceful society and that 
trait derives not from force or repression but 
rather from a consensus about, and widespread 
acceptance of, fundamental goals. If one has 
no more acquaintance with world events that the 
front page of the daily newspaper, the 
perception strikes home. Most countries are 
plagued, in their day-to-day existence by 
unrest, disorder, and violence. And even 
within the western world few societies can 
boast a period of stability and constitutional 
rule equalling Canada's. 

During the turbulence of the 1960s some 
Canadian literati struck upon the metaphor of 
the 'peaceable Kingdom' to express the 
uniqueness of what was then called the 
'Canadian identity'. Of course, the term 
gained cogency by the inevitable, and usually 
favourable, comparisons with the United States 
which was then undergoing a period of turmoil 
associated with urban decay, racism, the 
student rebellion, and the horror of the 
Vietnam war. By contrast, Canada was a 
peaceable haven, an alternative to the 
nightmarish insanity of life in the most 
advanced technological society in the world. 
But surely this analysis represents straying of 
the worst sort from the topic at hand. Or is 

But before bringing together MacNab and 
Canadian political culture — which if you 
haven't already guessed is my purpose tonight 
— I want to revert to a more general analysis 


of Canadian society. There have always been 
some historians ready to deride the self- 
righteous and hypocritical preening of 
historical feathers that seems to go with moral 
poturing about the superior quality of Canadian 
life. Historians, especially of the left, have 
been quick to demonstrate that not everyone was 
part of the Canadian consensus. To them, the 
Canadian past is one of conflict: social 
violence of a punch-up in a local bar, to the 
conquest of 1760, the rebellions of 1837-38, 
the two uprisings in Manitoba, labour strife, 
the numerous instances of aid to the civil 
power, and the treatment of various minorities, 
whether religious, national, sexual, or even 
regional. Point made! The past is not perfect 
and no one should be so gullible as to think it 
so. None the less, the singular fact remains: 
by comparison with other societies, our past is 
relatively free from political strife. 
Rebellion, coup d'etat, insurrection, extreme 
political agitation are largely unknown. When 
faced by the apprehension of political upheaval 
such as the FLO crisis of 1970, Canadians 
reacted collectively with horror and 
unquestioning support of the Liberal 
government's unseemly haste to suspend the 
constitution in order to deal with, in an 
ahistorical and unsatisfactory manner, a 
handful of terrorists. The most interesting 
aspect of that affair was the reaction to it. 

So then, if there is a reality to the 
'peaceable Kingdom', how did it come about? 
More important, for the purpose of this topic 
anyhow, is the usefulness of the metaphor in 
offering us a new perspective on Sir Allan. A 
standpoint by which MacNab the politician can 
be legit amately understood as a 'builder' — a 
builder of political culture. The political 


legacy of an orderly, peaceful, and 
constitutional society comes down to the 
present from the aftermath of the rebellion of 
1837: it is the bequest of the politics of the 
1840s and the 1850s and Allan Napier MacNab, 
the politician, loomed large in the events of 
those years and played a decisive role in 
fitting out this magnificent inheritance. Do I 
exagerate? No one should have any illusions 
about the reality of life in the heartland of 
the most modern, technological societies on 
earth. Yet who would prefer the political 
cultures of Nicaragua, Argentina, Russia, 
China, Lebanon, or even Portugal, Spain, Italy, 
Germany, or Prance? Canada was not always a 
peaceful society and in the years before 
confederation political tensions were at their 
height. Upper Canada, in particular, was a 
rude, brawling society divided on the grounds 
of religion, nationality, politics, and region. 
Hugh MacLennan, one of this country's most 
famous novelists, used the title M Two 
Solitudes" for one of his best -known works as a 
metaphor for this country's cultural duality. 
Expanding on this insight, one might see Upper 
Canada as a society of many solitudes. 
Although there was an underlying consensus 
based upon a common desire for economic 
improvement, conflict was more apparent. 
Ultimately most causes of friction manifested 
themselves politically as one group or another 
tried to shape the institutions that touched 
them, or change the structure of government 
that affected them. The consensus upon which 
was forged the Canadian political culture was 
only apparent in the aftermath of rebellion and 
even then not to all the key political players. 

Upper Canada's constitution was provided 
by the Canada or Constitutional Act of 1791. 


This crucial document was panned in response to 
the experience of the American and French 
revolutions. The last thing British 
politicians wanted was a re-enactment of 1776- 
83, the American Mar of Independence. They 
understood political society in terms of 
monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy and their 
degenerate (or unconstitutional) forms: 
tyranny, oligarchy, and anarchy, The 
uniqueness of the British constitution was that 
it combined all three forms in a mixed or 
balanced constitution in which each constituent 
element held the others in check, thus 
preventing degeneration, and preserving the 
hallmark of the constitution, liberty. To this 
type of mentality the American revolution had 
resulted from an excess of democracy; in other 
words, the colonial assemblies of America, had 
had too much unchecked power. Thus, Upper 
Canada was to have the "image and transcript" 
(in Simcoe's words) of the British 
constitution. The lieutenant governor and 
Legislative Council represented the non- 
elective, monarchical and aristocratic 
elements, the House of Assembly the democratic. 
By this consitutional means they hoped, not 
only to preserve, but to build a conservative 
(although the word was not yet in use then) 
counter-revolutionary society in Upper Canada. 
The problem, however, was that the colony 
lacked the social and economic structures which 
gave an aristocratic society its foundations. 
Moreover, the availability of cheap land made 
the property qualifications on the exercise of 
the franchise almost meaningless. Whereas in 
England such restrictions ensured a very small 
electorate, Upper Canada had, to all intents 
and purposes, universal manhood suffrage. 
Thus, people from whatever national group, 
religious denomination, area, or political 


stripe had a means of exercising a degree of 
influence on the structures and directions of 
society — at least until 1837. The society 
envisioned by the constitution of 1791 could 
not be just appropriated and organically 
imposed on a virtual wilderness. The vital 
defence, which was undertaken from the Mar of 
1612 to the Union of 1841, of a conservative 
society with subordination or orders, 
deference, and the union of church and state 
had its focal point in, and sanction from that 
constitution. But the hierarchy implied by 
this policy met stern opposition from the 1790s 
on. For many years MacNab was one of the 
worst symbols of the tory order. 

There is no need to rehash the contours 
of MacNab' s career: it is not the point of this 
talk and the details are readily available 
elsehwere. But some context is necessary. He 
came to Hamilton in 1826 and set up his law 
practice. A man of enormous ambition, he built 
for himself a sound foundation for financial 
success by his legal affairs and land 
speculation. Slowly too his interests and 
ambition focussed more clearly on Hamilton 
itself and politics. He was elected to the 
House of Assembly in 1830. He had already 
become prominent by virtue of his role in an 
affair known as the ' Hamilton outrage ' , one of 
a series of notorious incidents which helped, 
at a very early stage in its history, to give 
this city a reputation for violence. Other 
episodes include the tar and feathering of 
George Rolph, the execution of Michael Vincent 
in 1828, and the beating of William Lyon 
Mackenzie in 1832. MacNab earned his political 
spurs as an advocate of Hamilton's local 
interests and its economic pretensions; 
politically, he came to the fore of provincial 


politics for his role in the repeated 
expulsions of Mackenzie from the assembly in 
the early 1830s. 

In the decade of the 1820s diverse 
interests, representing the spectrum of 
solitudes mentioned earlier, came together 
under the banner of moderate political 
conservatism and an unhesitating commitment to 
local economic development. From the days 
before the Mar of 1812 to the present, the 
Hamilton region has been dominated politically 
by a handful of politicians who have embodied 
these concerns so dear to the area's political 
culture: John Willson, a self-educated 
Methodist farmer from Saltfleet was the first; 
Allan MacNab was the second; John Monro has 
been the most recent. Of all these men from 
earliest settlement to the present , MacNab rose 
to the greatest heights and has had the most 
enduring significance. 

That greatness, however, was not apparent 
to contemporaries when MacNab ruled Hamilton 
like a tribal chieftain. Increasingly through 
the 1830s, he became associated with the tory 
elite, often known as the "family compact " . 
From 1828 to 1837, political strife deepened 
across the province. When in December 1837 
rebellion broke out north and west of Toronto, 
and down the Niagara peninsula and west to 
Oxford County, the one bastion of loyalty was 
the Hamilton area. In the aftermath of the 
rebellion, which itself in the rather ludicrous 
affair on Yonge Street was put down by MacNab, 
the laird of Dundurn at the head of the loyal 
men of Gore earned and usually unedifying 
reputation for the harshness with which the 
rebellion and its sympathizers were suppressed. 
MacNab 's own stature was bolstered by his 


conduct in burning the Carolina , the steamer 
supplying Mackensie's unsuccessful insurgents, 
then quartered on Nay Island in the Niagara 
River. In short, MacNab had become the symbol 
of extreme tory reaction and at that even many 
of them had doubts about his bellicose 
impetuosity as witnessed by the war alarms 
occasioned by the Caroline affair. 

The rebellions had precipitated a crisis 
which called for resolution and slowly but 
surely British imperial authorities moved to 
defuse the explosive situation which had been 
so long in the making. Their solution was 
union of Upper and Lower Canada and a 
reconstituted Executive Council to take 
cognizance of popular representation in the 
assembly. A radical alternative for the 
Canadas had been eliminated by the crushing of 
the rebellions; the high tory vision was still 
viable, although considerably diminished, 
buttressed by leaders ensconsed in positions of 
power and influence. During the 1840s MacNab 
emerged as the leader of ultra-toryism, a 
seeming relic of the abuses that had 
characterized compact tory ism and plunged 
society into rebellion, an empty-headed high 
priest of reaction. Usually from this period 
on, historians dismiss him as at best a symbol 
or figure-head, at worst, a dangerous clown. 

The 1840s were a low point in MacNab 's 
life: financial crisis, the illness and death 
of his wife in 1846, the loss of his commission 
as militia colonel. Yet historians' 
impressions notwithstanding, he did not remain 
a hidebound dinosaur of Upper Canada's tory 
past, the toryism that was tied to the 
constitution of 1791 and the aristocratic 
society it entailed. From 1844 to 1847 he 


served as speaker of the assembly earning well- 
deserved plaudits from political friends and 
foes alike for his fairness as arbiter of 
debate. Moreover, his gestures to the French- 
Canadians and his personal affability gained 
him widespread respect. He now returned to one 
of the constants of his own life, economic 
development and improvement, and helped to 
guide the Canadas into the railway age. None 
the less, he still epitomized high tory 
extremism especially in his denunciation of the 
Rebellion Losses Bill of 1849, an event which 
triggered riots and the burning of the 
Parliament buildings in Montreal by a tory 
mob. Surely, few scenes stand out in such 
marked contradistinction to the 'peaceable 
kingdom' than a flaming legislature torched, in 
part, by the language of those such as MacNab 
invoking the loyal ism of the pre -rebel lion 
period. Through the infamous debate on this 
bill MacNab* s attacks upon the government were 
little less than inflammatory; his 
denunciations of the governor, Elgin, scathing 
for his alleged pandering to French interests. 
By late 1849 MacNab was ill and wracked by 
depression. From 1836 to 1849 he had been a 
belligerent warlord of high toryism. Now, 
recovering from a near fatal brush with death, 
he changed: a turning-point had been reached 
and in a manner as real as it was apparent he 
turned his back on the excesses of his tory 

The politics of the 1840s and the 1850s 
represented a sorting -out of what the 
rebellions had meant and what the new political 
reality of British North America would be. 
From hindsight what is most clear is the 
pressing need for: 1.) responsible government 
2. ) separation of church and state 3. ) a 


committed program of economic development and 
4.) an accord, or modm vivendi r with French 
Canada. After 1849 MacMab turned his back on 
the extremism that marked men such as Chief 
Justice John Beverley Robinson, who, in a 
letter written from Hamilton in 1851, denounced 
the "coarse vulgar democracy" of society and 
envisioned a return to the natural hierarchical 
order within a generation or two. MacNab 
plunged himself into the affairs of the Great 
Western railway, supposedly declaring, "my 
politics are railways." In the process he 
struck the most responsive chord in Canadian 
society. More important, he was one of the key 
architects of political rapproachemant: . the 
coalition between English and French Canadian 
conservatives and disenchanted reformers. It 
was to be the genesis of one of the most 
fundamental institutions of Canadian political 
life — the Conservative party. One hundred 
and thirty years ago, the MacNab-Morin ministry 
as it was called established a government based 
on coalition, compromise and moderation. The 
alliance was the basis of John A. Macdonald's 
enormous success and, in the post -Confederation 
era, kept the Conservatives in power with but 
one brief episode until 1896. Just this year 
Brian Mulroney forged those links yet again and 
brought his party back to power, and back to 
the political reality of the 1850s. 

One always pays a price for abandoning 
principles, no matter how loathsome to many, 
and MacNab has been censured for deserting high 
tory ranks. But that faith was incompatible 
with political accord and in this respect it is 
interesting that it was MacNab ' s government 
which abolished seigneurial tenure in 1854 and 
secularized the clergy reserves the same year 
removing two of the most persistent thorns in 


the Canadian body politic. His premiership was 
brief and in the end he was supplanted as 
leader by Macdonald. Yet the making of 
political peace required the burial of ultra 
toryism and it took the leading ultra himself 
to do it. It is fair to claim that Canadian 
political is conservative and in its 
characteristic shape originated in the 1850s. 
It was, as a leading Upper Canadian tory John 
Macauley of Kingston put it, but a "diluted 
Toryism", and for that, in large measure, we 
can credit MacNab. The peaceable kingdom did 
not just happen, it was a political work 
wrought by men such as MacNab and achieved by 
substantial compromises. And peace, order, and 
good government — the credo of Confederation 
— was their legacy to us. 


These few notes are meant solely as a guide to 
some of the literature on HacNab. It was not 
thought necessary for the purpose of the 
lecture to provide full scholarly 
documentation. Persons interested in specific 
points should contact the author. 

1. J. M.S. Careless (ed.), Jfcfl Pre- 

Confadaration Premiers Ontario Government 

Leaders 1841-1867 (Toronto Buffalo London, 

2. Typical examples of such loving treatment 
are: T.M. Bailey, History o£ Dundurn £as£lfi and 
Six Alan MarNab (Hamilton 1943) and C.A. 
Carter, Jhs. honourable and gallant knight 
(Hamilton 1969). Marion Ma cRae ' s tlacUab e£ 
Dundurn (Toronto 1971) concentrates on the 
castle and not the man. 


3. Donald Creighton, John A*. Macdonald the 
young politician (Toronto 1952) and J. M.S. 
Careless, ficojm oL Tb& Qloh&- Vol. 1. 
(Toronto, 1959) consign MacNab to the periphery 
of events and In rather dismlssibe fashion. 

4. P. A. Baskerville, "Sir Allan Napier 
MacNab/ 1 Dictionary o£ Canadian Biography IX. 

5. Donald R. Beer, Sir Allan Napiex MacUab 
(Hamilton 1984). Of interest is the fact that 
the first copies of this book appeared the 
night of the lecture. 

none YOU 

R.W.Bro. David C. Bradley 

It is with great pleasure that I 
undertake the task of thanking Professor Robert 
Fraser. I congratulate our speaker on his 
lecture on Sir Allan Napier MacNab, the Making 
of the Peaceable Kingdom. He has woven his 
threads of evidence, and marshalled his facts 
and arguments in excellent fashion to provide 
an interesting and stimulating history of one 
of the pioneers of our province. This new 
perspective of Sir Allan Napier MacNab has 
contributed fresh knowledge to our 
understanding of his life and times. The 
speaker has demonstrated a flair for searching 
out and placing together the significant facts 
and events to round out a story of one man's 
life and his contribution to the society in 


which he lived and to the legacy of sound 
government that he worked for. The speaker has 
placed Sir Allan Napier MacNab in a new context 
and we are grateful to him for this, and for 
the enlightenment he has shed on the 
biographical material. 

I thank him on behalf of the Heritage lodge and 
of the Hamilton Masonic Past Masters and 
Masters Association. At a moment like this, I 
feel that the simplest words are best to 
express our gratitude. I am always reminded of 
Shakespear: "I can no other answer give than 
thanks and ever thanks, for oft good deeds are 
shuffled off with such uncurrent pay." So, 
this evening, I will shuffle off his good deed 
in coming to Hamilton to give his lecture with 
a simple ' thank you ' , but I want him to know 
that, although the words are simple, they are a 
very sincere and heartfelt thank you. 



The following names of deceased brethern 
have come to our attention during the past 
year. Dates did not accompany notification of 
death . 


Temple Lodge No. 649. 


Fort Erie 

Acacia Lodge No. 580. 

Salem Lodge No. 368. 

Bedford Lodge No. 638 



St. John's Lodge No. 40 


Doric Lodge No. 121. 

Trevethin Lodge No. 6008,G.R.E 

Brotherhood Lodge No. 723 
Ionic Lodge No. 229 



St. John's Lodge No. 22. 



1901 - 1984* 

John Edward Taylor has gone his last 
journey, and we shall miss him. He was born 
eighty-three years ago in London, England, and 
went to school there before going out to India 
for several years. Then he settled in Canada, 
and was trained as an accountant. He worked 
with the Income Tax Department for a long time, 
and then served as Librarian of Osgoode hall. 

He was initiated into Masonry in St. 
John's Lodge, No. 40, G.R.C., Hamilton, in 
1935. In due course he affiliated with Ionic, 
No. 25, Toronto, and became its Archivist. The 
history of the Craft came to play a large part 
in his life, and beginning in 1949 he published 
the fruit of his labours, in such places as the 
Bulletin of the Committee on Masonic Education, 
the Papers of the Canadian Masonic Research 
Association, the Tr an factions of Quatuor 
Coronati Lodge, the Proceedings of The Heritage 
Lodge, and The Freemason. He also contributed 
to the official history of Masonry in Ontario, 
Whence Come We? 

♦Prepared for the Lodge Proceedings by R.W.Bro. 
Wallace E. McLeod. 


His work brought him into contact with 
students all over the world, and he was proud 
to count among his friends R.W.Bro. A.J.B. 
Milborne (the history of Quebec) and Bro. Harry 
Carr (the Secretary of Quatuor Coronati Lodge). 

For many years John served as Local 
Secretary of Quatuor Coronati for the whole of 
Ontario. On his retirement he moved to the 
North. While there, he reorganized the library 
of Espanola Lodge, No. 527, which showed its 
appreciation by giving him a life membership. 

In 1976 he was made a member of the 
Masonic Order of the Blue Forget -Me -Not , an 
honour conferred upon Masonic writers, 
particularly in the United States. He finally 
received a measure of recognition even in his 
own province, for in 1977 the Grand Master 
announced that he had awarded the William 
Mercer Wilson Medal to John E. Taylor. John 
passed to the Grand Lodge Above on 12 November 

John Taylor was a tireless collector of 
information and had an orderly well-stocked 
mind that made him a rich source of unexpected 
anecdote. He despised laziness, incompetence, 
and intellectual dishonesty, and those who came 
short of his standards sometimes felt the rough 
side of his tongue. But anyone who had the wit 
to seek his help found him generous with his 
time, his knowledge, and his books. He must 
rank among the top three or four students of 
masonry that Ontario has ever produced, and we 
have good reason to recall his life with 
gratitude. "So he passed over, and all the 
trumpets sounded for him on the other side." 




M.W.Bro. Ronald E. Groshaw 

31 Princess Margaret Blvd. , Islington, M9A 1Z5 

R.W.Bro. A. Lou Copeland 
7449 Victoria Park Ave., Markham, L3R 2Y7 

M.W.Bro. Robt . E. Davies 
P.O. Box 217, 363 King St., Hamilton, L8N 3C9 

LODGE OFFICERS (1984-1985) 



I. P.M. 

R . W . Bro . 


R . W . Bro . 







Sec 'y. 


A. Sec * y 









V. W.Bro. 






W . Bro . 

Org ' t . 




Arch ' t . 




C. Edwin Drew 
David c. Bradley 
Robert S. Throop 
Albert Barker 
Arthur Watson 
Duncan J. McFadgen 
Rev. W. Gray Rivers 
George Moore 
Edsel C. Steen 
Edmund V. Ralph 
Balfour LeGresley 
Donald B. Kaufman 
Stephen H. Maizels 
Wilfred T. Greenhough 
Frank G. Dunn 
Len Hertel 
Gregory C. Robinson 
Glenson T. Jones 
Jacob (Jack) Pos 



1977-78 R.W.Bro. Jacob Pos (Founding Master) 

1978-79 R.W.Bro. Keith R.A. Flynn 

1979-80 R.W.Bro. Donald G.S. Grinton 

1980-81 M.W.Bro. Ronald E. Groshaw 

1981-82 W.Bro. George E. Zwicker 

1982-83 R.W.Bro. Balfour LeGresley 

1983-84 R.W.Bro. David C. Bradley 


General Purposes R . W . Bro . R . S . Throop 

Membership R.W.Bro. E.C. Steen 

Refreshment R.W.Bro.W.T. Greenhough 

Information R.W.Bro. F.J. Bruce 

Data Bank W.Bro. F.J.M. Major 

Museum R.W.Bro. J. Pos 

Library W.Bro. D. Cosens 


Advisory V. W.Bro. S.L. Thurtell 

The Corporation: 


- J. Pos 

- E.V. Ralph 

56 Castlegrove 
Don Mills, M3A 1L2 



Wednesday, September 18, 1985 - Regular meeting 
(Cambridge), Election of Officeres and 
paper presentation by V.W.Bro. Stewart 
Thurtell . 

Wednesday, November 20, 1985 - Regular meeting 
(Cambridge), Installation and Investiture 
of Officers and official visit of 
D.D.G.M. of Waterloo District. 

Thursday, January 30, 1986 - Second Annual 
Heritage Banquet (Toronto). 

Wednesday, March 19, 1986 - Regular meeting 
(Barrie) . 

Saturday, May 17, 1986 - Regular meeting 
(Brockville) . 

Check your Lodge Summonses for more details. 

J. Pos, Editor 



Worshipful Master 1983 - 8^ 

Initiated in Queen City Lodge No. 55^ , 195^ 
W. Master of Doric Lodge No. 316, I968 
D.D.G.M. Toronto District 3, 1973 

Ch. Member The Heritage Lodge No. 730, 1977 
Board of General Purposes, 1980 - 

Author of 'Towards the Square* 
Editor of 'Newsletter 1 , published by the 
G. Lodge Committee on Masonic Education 
Editor '1 Committee -'Meeting the Challenge' 

-'Whence Come We